What if I told you that Ronda Rousey and Gina Carano were almost booked against one another in a superfight?
Ronda Rousey and Gina Carano are arguably the two biggest names in the history of WMMA. Rousey rose to superstardom during her reign of terror from 2013-2015 as the UFC bantamweight champion. As for Gina Carano, she was once coined the “Face of Womens MMA” and even made the list of the top 10 influential women of 2008. Like Rousey, Carano was also undefeated during her star ascension and both women crossed boundaries into the mainstream.
In a recent appearance on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Carano revealed that there was almost an intergenerational clash between the two faces of women’s MMA (Transcript via MMA Junkie):
“When Ronda Rousey became popular, I remember they (Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta) had finally called for a meeting, and I walked in this restaurant, and they looked like these two big muscly guys at the table in like the middle of Hollywood,” Carano said. “I remember thinking, ‘What took you guys so long? I’ve been … what took you so long?’
“So they were like, ‘OK, we’d love to offer you a million dollars. We’d love to have that fight.’ And I was like, ‘Well, that sounds great, but I’m going to need you to do me a favor, then, because I’ve been acting, I’m not active in any gym. So it’s going to take me, you know, you’re going to have to give me some time to build a team or join a team.’”
“So it was a nice dinner, and we all left positive. I left stoked, and I was like, ‘OK, well this makes sense. This is my moment to come and be back in there.”
As close as the fight was from being a done deal and as excited as Carano was at the close of the dinner, an unexpected twist put a wrench in her plans to return against Rousey:
“Then like the next day, Dana was out there talking about me, talking about my name, and telling people that he was going to sign me – and I don’t even have a team yet,” Carano explained. “I was like, ‘That’s not what we discussed; you were supposed to give me at least six months to kind of find a team.’ Then he started trying to put on the pressure through the media, and it was a bummer, because I told him over text message that’s not what we talked about. I need time. Now I’m going to walk into a gym, and people are going to know that’s what I’m doing. I need to build trust if I’m going to find people.
“So then he kept on doing that, and I was still kind of searching for a team and feeling all that pressure, and then he sent me a text message saying, ‘This (expletive) is something, like (expletive) us around,’ something like that. And I sent a text message back and I sent, ‘I think you sent this out to the wrong person,’ and he said, ‘I don’t think I did.’
“That was the last conversation that we had over text message. Because I don’t think that was the kind of environment that I wanted to come back into. I cut all communication after that text. Then I remember seeing him when Mike Tyson and my dad were getting honored at a sports hall of fame in Las Vegas, and he did come over and genuinely apologized.
“But, yeah, I just don’t think even $1 million, you shouldn’t, when people hold money over your head, which they have done since I was a little girl, it’s just never been a turn-on for me. I don’t have a problem with authority; I just have a problem with abused authority, and that’s my thing, so that was the end of that conversation.”
Would you have been interested in seeing a fight between Ronda Rousey and Gina Carano?