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Gina Carano: With Her Looming Return, What Does the Future Hold for WMMA?

SAN JOSE, CA - AUGUST 15:  Cris Cyborg (R) battles Gina Carano during their Middleweight Championship fight at Stikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg on August 15, 2009 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Sal DeRoseCorrespondent IApril 19, 2011

Women's MMA hasn't taken flight yet, and with Zuffa's purchase of Strikeforce, its future seems even more bleak.

UFC president Dana White has come out against the usage of women's MMA for the UFC in a short, quick sound byte. That all about seals up its future at a major promotion.

But many will make the case that White will watch it closely in Strikeforce as a "feeling-out process" to see whether or not to adapt it into the UFC.

The bad thing for women's MMA, though, is that men's MMA hasn't been a big-time sport for all that long. Many will even argue it's on the rise, but it's not quite there yet. MMA always struggles with existence in the mainstream world. So until men's takes off astronomically, women's MMA will suffer to exist.

It's been a year since the No. 1 pound-for-pound female fighter has been in a ring. Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is under contract with Strikeforce and since her June, 2010 title defense against Jan Finney, she has seen zero time in a cage. Cyborg has made two title defenses since beating Gina Carano in August of 2009.

Since that very same fight in August, Carano has yet to make her next appearance in the ring. Carano came out in Elite XC as one of the faces of women's MMA. Beautiful and a deadly fighter, she was at the forefront of the women's acceptance as a true sport instead of something like Foxy Boxing.

On June 18, Carano will make her return to the cage against Sarah D'Alelio in a highly anticipated return.

The future all depends on what the UFC decides to do once they and Strikeforce merge into one promotion.

Does White bring along the sport of women's MMA into the UFC and turn it into more than just a spectacle? Or does he leave it and let it flounder, looking for a new promotion to promote the women fighters?

Women will eventually fight in a large promotion like the UFC or even possibly the UFC itself. It won't happen next year, and it probably won't happen in 10 years, but like all other sports, it will happen. 

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