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Dana White on Gina Carano contract talks: ‘It’s complicated’

Gina Carano

Dana White just changed the UFC’s relationship status with Gina Carano to “it’s complicated.”

White said last week that he planned to have Carano signed to a contract by the end of the week. That obviously didn’t happen, but White remains positive about the situation.

“It’s complicated,” White said Saturday after the UFC on FOX 12 card in San Jose via Bloody Elbow. “I’m very positive about it, but it’s complicated. I’m still working on it. That’s all I can say. It’s complicated.”

Carano has not fought since losing to Cyborg Justino in 2009 to mark her first ever defeat. She went into the movie business after that and began starring in a number of action films, but she has expressed interest in returning to the octagon.

White said that if Carano were signed to the organization, she would be in line for a Dec. title fight against Ronda Rousey. Women’s bantamweight contender Miesha Tate has expressed her unhappiness with that possibility, while UFC newcomer Holly Holm believes Carano is deserving of the shot.

Holly Holm: Gina Carano has earned shot at Ronda Rousey

Gina CaranoGina Carano has not fought for over five years, but she will still get a title shot at Ronda Rousey upon signing with the UFC, company boss Dana White has said.

Many people feel like Carano is undeserving of a title shot because of her long layoff. Miesha Tate, who has lost to Rousey twice, is one of those people. I feel similarly and don’t think Carano should be fighting Rousey without winning one tuneup fight first.

Holly Holm, who recently signed with the UFC to provide more competition in the women’s bantamweight division, shared her thoughts on the matter and seems to be fine with Carano getting the shot at Rousey.

[Also see - Ronda Rousey: Gina Carano had a fantastic rack]

“Carano has been on the big show before, so she can handle the pressure,” Holm wrote in a chat on ESPN.com. “There are a lot of girls who have been working hard for a shot who might deserve it a little more than someone who has been out that long, but Carano has put a lot of time in before. She’s earned her spot in certain ways. Who am I to say Carano is undeserving of an opportunity? I’ll let the promoter make those decisions.”

That’s a pretty politically correct answer from Holm. She’s a new fighter in the organization and isn’t about to make enemies with White before she’s even had a fight. Even though she’s saying one thing, it seems that she still has some reservations, as she should. How can anyone expect Carano to hang with Rousey after over a five-year absence? Washington Wizards Michael Jordan thinks that will be a challenge.

Previously: Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey to fight in December if Carano signs

Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey to fight in December if Carano signs

Gina Carano

Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey will fight in December at UFC 181 in Las Vegas if Carano signs with the UFC, company boss Dana White said Friday in Ireland.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, the UFC has a meeting with Carano’s representatives on Monday. If the two sides are able to agree to a deal, Carano would be set to face Rousey on Dec. 6 at the Mandalay Bay.

Carano (7-1) has not fought since losing to Cyborg in 2009. She won the first seven fights of her pro career, fighting mostly in the now-defunct EliteXC promotion.

After receiving attention for her fighting, Carano transitioned into movies and has appeared in seven films. She expressed an interest in returning to fighting amid rumors of a potential fight with Rousey.

While Carano was off making movies, Rousey’s MMA career was blossoming.

[Also see - Ronda Rousey: Gina Carano had a fantastic rack]

Rousey credits Carano for her interest in the sport, which began not too long ago. Following a career as an Olympian judoka, Rousey began doing MMA and had her first pro fight in 2011. She’s annihilated her competition going 10-0 in a little over three years in the sport, winning all but one of her fights in the first round.

While Rousey seems to only be getting better, Carano is returning to the octagon following a five-year absence. This doesn’t set up to be a good matchup for Carano, and we seriously doubt she’ll even be able to present a challenge.

[Related - Miesha Tate: Gina Carano fighting Ronda Rousey is a joke]

Still, Rousey wants this fight. Carano wants the fight. The UFC wants the fight. The fans will tune in to watch, regardless of how much of a mismatch it may be. I don’t think the fight is a good idea for Carano, but it will be an interest-generator and money-maker, and that’s what entertainment is all about.

Previously: Rousey says she would move up in weight to fight Carano

GINA CARANO PICTURES

Gina Carano in the UFC? Dana White says he will sign her next week

Gina CaranoNow that Ronda Rousey has run through all the competition in the UFC, organization boss Dana White is looking outside the promotion to bring in more potential opponents. During the week he announced the signing of boxer/kickboxer Holly Holm. Next week he plans to add Gina Carano to the roster.

“One down, one to go,” White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto of his plans to add challengers to Rousey. “I’m going to meet with Gina next week and get that f—ing thing done. Next week, man.

“It’s just a matter of me and Lorenzo going to jump on a plane to Los Angeles, get in a room with her and her lawyer and get this thing done.”

Carano (7-1) moved on to a movie career after losing to Cyborg Justino in 2009 and has not fought since then. White says Gina has an interest in fighting (Carano has said she’s interest in a return) and facing Rousey and that it’s just a matter of agreeing on a contract.

Though Carano’s ability to challenge Rousey is in question, there is little doubt about the drawing power of such a fight. Carano has become a movie star in the last five years and has received more attention since dating actor Henry Cavill. Rousey is one of the biggest stars in the UFC. The two of them fighting each other would generate all sorts of buzz and interest.

The only problem is that Carano might want to return for one fight and one fight only: Rousey. She doesn’t belong in the octagon with Rousey for her first fight back, but can she and the UFC risk her taking a loss in a tuneup fight? Probably not. The better fight is Rousey-Holm, while Rousey-Carano is the one that will sell the best.

Glove touch to SI Wire

Miesha Tate: Gina Carano fighting Ronda Rousey is a joke

Miesha Tate

If you think that Gina Carano returning from five years away from MMA and getting a shot at Ronda Rousey in her first fight back is a little ridiculous, you’re not alone. Another top female fighter, Miesha Tate, feels the same way.

In an interview with MMA Junkie radio, Tate said she felt like Carano fighting Rousey right away would be “kind of a joke.”

“I really feel that it’s just kind of a joke,” Tate told MMAjunkie Radio. “It really is. Gina was a great fighter, and she’s a beautiful woman. Ronda is a great fighter, and she’s an attractive girl. But to say that Gina should be able to come in after five years of nothing and take on arguably the best female fighter ever? Come on.”

Carano hasn’t fought since August 2009 when she lost to Cyborg for her lone defeat. Rousey, on the other hand, has been fighting regularly since making her professional debut a little over three years ago. Carano has been making movies while Rousey has been mastering her sport. The two are at two completely different points in their careers.

But don’t take this to mean that Tate feels Carano is undeserving of fighting in the UFC; she just feels Carano is undeserving of an immediate title shot. Instead, she thinks Carano should face someone like her as a challenge first before getting the shot at Rousey.

Tate also knows exactly why the UFC want to do a fight between Carano and Rousey. It’s pretty obvious for anyone with eyes.

“The only thing that drives that is they’re both attractive,” Tate said. “It makes the women’s title hold no value. It makes it look like it’s a joke and they just put whatever’s going to sell. If we’re going to really legitimize women’s MMA as a sport and have it respected as a sport, then you have to treat it as such.”

I’ve said the exact same thing. There’s no way the UFC could legitimately have Carano return and fight Rousey immediately. She would need a tune-up fight first — someone she could beat — before that fight is made. But maybe the UFC does not want to risk the possibility of Carano losing a first fight and having the marquee matchup between Gina and Ronda go away.

Dana White ‘very confident’ Gina Carano wants to fight in UFC

Gina CaranoIt has been rumored for months that Gina Carano will take a break from the big screen and return to the octagon, and UFC boss Dana White seems very optimistic that it will happen. White spoke with Heidi Androl of FOX Sports earlier this week about his meeting with Carano, and here’s what he had to say.

“Gina and I had a good meeting,” White said. “I’m very confident that she does want to come back and she does want to fight. We do not have a deal but we might [soon].”

The popular speculation has been that Carano will return to fight undefeated women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. White has steered clear of denying or confirming those rumors, but he did say that Carano wants to return for a shot at the championship belt.

“She wants to fight whoever the champion is,” White said.

Carano hasn’t fought since Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino beat her back in 2009. She is now 31, and fighting Rousey after taking several years off would be a tall order. A rematch with Cyborg seems more likely for Carano, though a fight against Rousey would bring in a ton of money and create plenty of buzz. If White wants it to happen, it will happen.

H/T Bloody Elbow

Gina Carano to meet with Dana White about her UFC future

Gina CaranoGina Carano has been the subject of multiple rumors that she may be returning to the UFC, and now it sounds like a comeback could be in the cards.

During an interview with Arsenio Hall Thursday to promote her new movie “In the Blood” which comes out Friday, Carano said she is “kinda considering” fighting in the UFC and plans to meet with Dana White next week to discuss her future, MMA Fighting reports.

“I love it,” Carano said about fighting. “It’s something I can do that makes everything else disappear. I dream about it. I just didn’t know if I was ever going to get placed with the opportunity to make a comeback. So I’m either going to do it now or retire and say, I’m never going to do it. So now is the moment.”

Hearing this from Carano is not that surprising considering she said recently that she is “very open” to an MMA return. But just the fact that she is meeting with White next week is a good sign for those clamoring to see her fight again.

Ronda Rousey has expressed interest in facing her. That would be a great one, though Gina would definitely need a tune-up fight first.

But you know what’s another interesting aspect of all this recent buzz? The timing.

Anyone else find it funny that there’s suddenly all this talk about Carano making a return to the Octagon right around when her movie’s due out? Is this coincidental, or was it a joint effort from the UFC and the movie? The timing is definitely very convenient.

While on Arsenio Hall, Carano also did this fun game where she had to guess whether a word was a cocktail or fighting term. Fun stuff: