Dana White: 'I Think We're Close' to Signing Gina Carano

John HeinisSenior Analyst IAugust 24, 2014

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  MMA Superstar Gina Carano is seen during the Workout/Media Day with Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano at the Legends Mixed Martial Arts Training Center on September 17, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

UFC President Dana White thinks a huge announcement about adding a familiar face to his women's bantamweight division is forthcoming in the next few weeks. 

Speaking to a slew of media at the UFC Fight Night 48 post-fight press conference, White said he thinks he's close to signing women's MMA pioneer Gina Carano after months of ongoing negotiations (per MMA Fighting). 

'Yeah it's complicated, but I think we're close. I think we're close ... I don't know. I had plans, but now I don't know,' White said about a possible Ronda Rousey vs. Carano championship fight. 'We have to see how this thing plays out. Like I said, I wouldn't know more about that until September. First week of September I should have more answers.'

Carano hasn't fought inside the cage for five years, her most recent bout being a lopsided TKO loss to then-Strikeforce featherweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos (now Justino, following a divorce). 

The 32-year-old bombshell has traded in the rash guards and fight shorts in favor of high-profile roles on the silver screen, starring in action flicks such as In the Blood, Fast and Furious 6 and Haywire.

However, the rumors of Carano making a return to the cage have been swirling since the spring, with White and Rousey—the UFC women's bantamweight champ—stating they are all for a Rousey vs. Carano showdown

As fight fans anxiously await the world's premier mixed martial arts organization to announce a new deal with Carano, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker recently revealed he had reached out to Carano to see if she'd be interested in joining Bellator, per The MMA Hour's Ariel Helwani (via MMA Fighting). 

However, Coker also said that Carano seemed more interested in competing at bantamweight than featherweight (Bellator's only women's division), so a deal seemed relatively unlikely for now. 

While Carano has made 135 pounds once, it was back in June 2006, and she has fought as heavy as 150 pounds since then in eight career fights.

Therefore, Coker's remarks have to be considered at least a little surprising. 

Will Carano finally become a part of the UFC roster by mid-September, or has the time for her to sign on a dotted line come and gone by now?


John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.