Dana White: Rousey vs. Carano could take place in December

July 19, 2014


Dana White: Rousey vs. Carano could take place in December

A deal between the UFC and Gina Carano is on the immediate horizon, and a fight between Carano and women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey is targeted for the end of this year, according to UFC President Dana White.

Today during a media scrum in Dublin, White said Carano, who has been inactive since 2009, “should be signed by next week” and added the former Strikeforce contender and movie star would get a title shot against Rousey in December.

White made special reference that the fight is not likely to take place at the promotion’s end-of-year event, UFC 182, which this time around takes place Jan. 3 in Las Vegas.

Carano’s rep could not be reached for comment. UFC 181 is expected to take place Dec. 6 in Las Vegas, likely at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Rousey has been a driving factor in signing Carano and booking the title fight, White said. The UFC compared the champ’s motivation to now-former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre’s desire to fight Nick Diaz prior to their grudge match at UFC 158.

“Ronda’s been very good to us, and if that’s the fight she wants, then I’m going to try to get it done,” White said.

The 27-year-old champ, who on Wednesday became the first UFC fighter to win an ESPY, notched her fourth title defense earlier this month at UFC 175 with a 16-second stoppage of Alexis Davis. She recently underwent arthroscopic surgery for a knee injury but is expected to make quick recovery.

White defended the idea of giving Carano (7-1) a title shot in her first fight in five years, saying the onetime “face of women’s MMA” has continued to train throughout her hiatus, albeit not at the level as her active career, and wants badly to fight Rousey (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC).

White also expressed his confidence in booking the fight based on Carano’s most recent performance, which came under the now-defunct Strikeforce banner in a bout with Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino for the inaugural women’s featherweight title.

The UFC executive said Carano did well in the bout despite a first-round TKO loss and added that “‘Cyborg’ was a little jacked up on Moutain Dew in that fight.”

Carano’s only appearance at 135 pounds was for her professional MMA debut in 2006. She fought the bulk of her career between 140 and 145 pounds. After stepping away from the sport in 2009, she embarked on a movie career and recently appeared in the action thriller “In the Blood.”

Next week, White said he will head to Los Angeles to negotiate a deal to bring the starlet into the UFC. He said getting the deal done was simply a matter of getting in the same room with Carano’s lawyer.

“I can’t wait to meet this guy face to face,” White said. “It’s going to be a typical Monday. Sh—y day.”

As to whether the deal would be lucrative enough for Carano, White said, “She’ll either say yes to that zero or no to that zero.”



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