Sunday, April 14

Gina Carano Reveals Why Ronda Rousey UFC Fight Didn’t Happen

Highlights

  • Gina Carano discusses missed opportunity with Ronda Rousey, confident in potential win.
  • Challenges of weight cutting & lack of team hindered Carano’s return to MMA.
  • Carano praises Rousey’s impact on women in MMA, believes she could have won.



In a recent interview on the PBD podcast, actress and former MMA fighter Gina Carano shared insights into why her much-anticipated showdown with UFC trailblazer Ronda Rousey never materialized, expressing confidence that she would have emerged victorious.

Carano, a pioneering figure in women’s MMA, revealed that UFC President Dana White had approached her years before Rousey’s rise to prominence, expressing interest in recruiting her as the promotion’s first female fighter. However, at the time, Carano was committed to Strikeforce and preparing for a pivotal bout against Cris Cyborg in 2009, which marked her first defeat and last MMA appearance before transitioning to acting.

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Despite discussions resurfacing after Rousey’s ascent to stardom, negotiations with the UFC proved challenging. Carano cited the difficulties of weight cutting and the need to rebuild her training team as significant hurdles. She emphasized the importance of confidentiality during her preparation phase, which was compromised when White prematurely discussed the potential matchup, complicating her efforts to return to fighting shape.

“I’ve been waiting for this so I just need some time and I need you to keep it quiet, Dana. Keep it really quiet because I didn’t have a gym. I would have to go myself in a gym, which when I go in a gym people put cameras on me and you have to find and built your team and I wasn’t living in Las Vegas, which is where my team was. So I was living in L.A. and it would have been hard and I needed to rebuilt a team and do it right.”


While Carano eventuallyfound success in Hollywood she remains steadfast in her belief that she could have defeated Rousey in the octagon. Acknowledging Rousey’s ground expertise, Carano highlighted her formidable striking abilities as a potential advantage in the hypothetical clash.

“It’s no disrespect and I’m sure she would say the same thing that she would win, but that’s just something I know. After you’ve been punched like that, she got shook twice [fighting] Amanda Nunes and Holly Holm, I’m one of the hardest punchers that women’s mixed martial arts has ever seen.”

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Despite the bout never materializing, Carano holds Rousey in high esteem, recognizing her pivotal role in breaking barriers for women in MMA. She commended Rousey for her respectful attitude towards her and emphasized the former champion’s misunderstood persona, suggesting that her antagonistic on-screen persona doesn’t fully reflect her true character.


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