Gina Carano agreeing to terms and finally signing a UFC contract by the end of the week was optimistic at best.
Earlier in the week, UFC President Dana White was incredibly confident he would be able to hash out a contract with the former Strikeforce star. There was even talk about one of the incentives in a contract being an immediate title shot against UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey.
Days had passed since White’s meeting with Carano without any news of a confirmed signing. At Saturday night’s UFC on Fox 12 post-fight press conference, White finally gave fans an update no one was particularly thrilled to hear: “It’s complicated. I’m very positive about it, but it’s complicated. I’m still working on it. That’s all I can say."
Carano is widely considered to be the original face of women’s MMA. While Rousey helped put female participants on the mainstream map, it was Carano who started it all during her stint in Strikeforce.
Her featherweight title fight against Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino in 2009 was the first women’s fight to headline a major MMA fight card. Unfortunately for Carano, her 7-0 run as a professional fighter came to a decisive end in a first-round TKO loss to Justino that night.
While never officially retiring from fighting, Carano made the decision to step away from the sport and focus more on her Hollywood acting career after the loss.
Despite a near five-year hiatus, there is still plenty of interest among fans in seeing Carano return and compete in the UFC. Only time will tell if the UFC and Carano can finally come to an agreement.
We’ll just have to take White’s word that the situation is positive but complicated.
Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon.