Former Strikeforce women’s featherweight Gina Carano has been rumored to be making an awaited return to MMA for a huge title fight against dominant UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
With “Conviction’s” movie career hot having taken off as she may have hoped, talk of her Octagon debut first swirled earlier this year when Joe Rogan hinted at it this March. In mid-July, UFC President Dana White was quoted as saying he was going to get Carano signed that week, but apparently things got a bit “complicated.”
Today, however, news has come that the situation could get quite a bit messier if the following rumor from Hector Castro of Empire Sports (via Bloody Elbow) is true. Apparently Carano, who first rose to stardom under the watch of former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, is headed to sign with the UFC’s nearest competitor Bellator, which Coker recently took over after Bjorn Rebney was ousted:
Hmm.. Rumor is that Gina signed with Bellator.. Apparently so did Marloes Coenen
— Hector Castro (@HectorCastroESM) August 11, 2014
Now, of course it’s all just speculation (and of the wild variety, no less), but Bellator signing Carano out from under the UFC’s feet would be quite the media spectacle.
Adding fuel to the fire, Brian Rogers reported that a huge Bellator announcement is coming tomorrow, and everyone will be excited to hear it:
Friends, Fans & haters :Tomorrow there will be a major fight announcement via @BellatorMMA & various media outlets. You will be entertained
— Brian Rogers (@BRogthePredator) August 11, 2014
Former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion, Marloes Coenen, who lost her belt to Miesha Tate before “Cupcake” was first submitted by Rousey, is also rumored to have signed with Bellator.
Is the UFC’s cash cow fight of Rousey vs. Carano about to fall apart after a last-minute power play by rival Bellator? The bout has been deemed as nothing more than a glorified squash match, as Carano has been out of action since a first round TKO loss to Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino in 2009.
There’s no doubt that Carano would have a much easier time fighting inside the Bellator age, and her return could be over before it starts if Rousey makes incredibly short work of her as she did to Sara McMann and Alexis Davis this year.
Although surprising, is fighting for Bellator the best course of action for Carano’s MMA return?