Dana White is making a hard push to sign Gina Carano this week. After finally signing Holly Holm to a UFC contract, Dana and Lorenzo Fertita are flying to Los Angeles to lock in another potential challenger for Women’s Bantamweight championRonda Rousey. During an interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, Dana White said:
“One down, one to go. I’m going to meet with Gina and get that fu-king 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.”
Gina Carano hasn’t fought since 2009 when she lost to Cris “Cyborg” Justino in the closing seconds of the first round of their fight. Technically, she was under contract with Zuffa as recently as last month, a result of UFC’s 2011 purchase of Strikeforce back in 2011.
Rousey has stated several times that Gina Carano was the inspiration that got her into MMA and she’d welcome the opportunity to fight her. During the media hype leading up to UFC 175, Rousey told reporters:
“The first women’s MMA fight I ever saw was Gina Carano vs. Julie Kedzie. Not only did I admire what [Carano] was doing, but also I was blown away by the reaction all the guys were giving them, and, I just remember sitting there and thinking, ‘I could totally beat both of these chicks.’”
“Whether she ever wants to fight again or not is entirely up to her, but ever since that day when I had that first taste of women’s MMA she’s the fight I wanted.”
It sounds like the feeling is mutual. White told ESPN:
“There is no doubt about it, [Gina] wants to fight. And she wants to fight Ronda.”
It was reported by UFC Tonight two weeks ago that talks with Gina Carano had stalled, but Dana White clarified that it was simply a matter of coming to terms on deal, not Carano’s desire to fight.