Long before Ronda Rousey was deemed the face of women’s mixed martial arts, Gina Carano was the first true superstar to gain national attention for her work inside the cage.
Transitioning from kickboxing in K-1 to a highly successful career in both Elite XC and Strikeforce, Carano was considered the top star in all of women’s MMA for several years.
It’s now been more than eight years since Carano last competed when she suffered a TKO loss to Cris Cyborg back in 2009 and while she teased the possibility of a return to action a few years ago, she’s mainly stayed focused on her acting career.
Still, Carano has never actually retired from the sport and at 35 years of age there’s still time left that she could pursue another fight.
“I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that I’m not on the treadmill, and I’m not punching and kicking someone in my head,” Carano said when speaking with FloCombat. “I worked with some of those girls at a point. I fought Cris [Cyborg. I [still] work with some of those girls now. I still train.”
Carano is a mainstay at the CSA fight team in California where she regularly works alongside UFC flyweight contender Alexis Davis as well as former Bellator champion Zoila Frausto.
There were even talks a few years ago with Carano nearly reaching a deal to sign with the UFC for a potential fight against Ronda Rousey, although the two sides never came to an agreement.
While she’s not ready to declare a comeback or even say if she’ll ever fight again, Carano still isn’t prepared to close the door on that possibility and she probably never will.
“I’ve never retired because you never know what I’m gonna do” ~ Gina Carano
“I don’t think it ever leaves you as a fighter. I’ve never retired because you never know what I’m gonna do,” Carano added
“I’ll be 70 years old in my basement saying, ‘I just wanna come back,'”
Of course if Carano ever decided to fight again, she would immediately become one of the most sought after fighters in the sport considering the star power she still maintains to this day.
There’s little doubt that the UFC would still love to feature Carano in a fight and she previously worked with Bellator CEO Scott Coker so that relationship still exists as well.
“I could never come back and fight with my priorities not set, could never come back for the money or I could never do it for the attention,” Carano said. “I would really have to do it for myself and to see if I wanted it and had it in me to push myself there again. That’d be the only reason I’d ever want to do that again.
“There’s been a lot of moments [I almost fought again].”
Who would you like to see Gina Carano face if she decides to make a return to mixed martial arts? Let us know in the comments.