If Gina Carano wants to return to MMA, she sure does have a funny way of showing it.
Carano, who found success and popularity as a cage fighter but left the sport five years ago to focus on her budding show-business career, will reportedly appear alongside Ryan Reynolds in the film adaptation of the Marvel comic series "Deadpool," according to The Hollywood Reporter (h/t Fox Sports).
It's just one in a string of new roles for Carano. She also will appear in the reboot of the 1989 action flick Kickboxer, in which Jean-Claude Van Damme will reprise his original role. Film project Bus 657 (starring Robert de Niro) also is in development. She appeared in a B-movie, In The Blood, last year.
Reading the tea leaves and applying MMA context, this would all appear to throw even more cold water on the notion of a bank-busting matchup between Carano and reigning UFC women's bantamweight champ and pound-for-pound queen Ronda Rousey.
At certain points last year, Carano and the UFC appeared to be in serious negotiations for an appearance from her. However, those negotiations ultimately cooled. At one point, UFC President Dana White railed against Carano and her representatives for being difficult to deal with.
At various points, both women appeared interested in the bout. Rousey, who knows how to promote a fight, praised Carano for her "one-punch knockout power," per MMA Junkie. As recently as January, hints over Carano's renewed commitment to training have been dropped on social media and elsewhere.
Carano (7-1) competed under the banner of the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion, among others. Her only loss came in a title challenge to Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino (nee Santos). It was Carano's final professional bout. Her combination of fighting talent and telegenic looks made her a natural for the screen in the eyes of many.
Rousey (10-0) has also gotten her share of attention from Hollywood. She starred in last year's Expendables 3 and has a role in the latest installment of the The Fast and The Furious franchise.