Whenever WMMA is in the spotlight, Gina Carano's name comes up. Could she return to MMA and fight in the UFC one day? Dana White would like her to, but he says he won't pursue her.
With women's MMA in the spotlight at UFC 157 over the weekend, there was obviously a lot of talk about Gina Carano. The original "face of women's MMA" helped to open the doors necessary to make UFC 157 possible, and everyone from Ronda Rousey to Dana White were rightfully giving her props for it. Carano has been making a living in Hollywood since her last MMA bout in late 2009 but she took the time to tweet about Rousey vs. Carmouche on Saturday, and White responded:
The obvious question always pops up whenever there's a major women's bout happening - when, if ever, will Gina return to fighting? Earlier this month, SB Nation's Matt Ufford caught up with her at the Super Bowl and she wouldn't completely rule out a return:
Ufford: "So I can take this to Ariel Helwani, MMAFighting? "Officially done.'"
Carano: "You can't say that. I wake up every morning and surprise myself, and I wake up to a new me every day. I still train."
Ufford: "When was the last time you sparred?"
Carano: "Probably two weeks ago, actually. and it felt really good because I felt free to not feel like I'm training for anything but to just train and love it again."
So what does the UFC president think about Carano in the UFC one day. He addressed it in the aftermath of UFC 157:
"Gina's a movie star. She's out making movies. I actually like that she made it and is doing good things. I like to see that happen. If Gina came back and said she wanted to fight again, we'd take her back, but I'm not going to pursue her."
"Gina's got her thing, and I'm happy for her. Good for her. She hasn't told me, but I've heard that she said she'd be interested in coming back. I'm not going to push her. But if she wants to come back, I wouldn't say no, either. It'd probably be a big fight. I don't know if she'd want an immediate title shot."
Obviously there are two major stumbling blocks here. The first is that Carano has become quite a successful actress, with a role in Fast and Furious 6 wrapped up and another movie, Into The Blood, scheduled for release this year. There's also the weight class issue. Carano has never competed below 140 pounds, and had some issues making that weight. With the UFC only promoting the 135-pound women's division and Ronda Rousey's insistence on challengers like Cristiane Santos making the weight, it'd be pretty tough to put together. But stranger things have happened in MMA.