The most recognizable female MMA fighter in the world Gina Carano should be making her return to the cage before the year is over. The 29 year old MMA fighter was originally scheduled to make her comeback against Sarah D’Alelio on the Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum fight card held on June 18. Carano later pulled out of the MMA fight, citing unexplained medical reasons.
According to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, Carano is currently being target by Zuffa matchmakers for a slot on the Strikeforce: Mendez vs. Masvidal fight card, scheduled for December 17.
Carano lost her Strikeforce women’s 145 lbs title in her last MMA fight against Chris “Cyborg” Santos on August 15, 2009. The fight between Carano and Santos was a monumental event for the sport of MMA, being the first time female fighters headlined an event held by a major promotion.
Some MMA purists believe Santos exposed Carano as a fraud, but I beg to differ. Santos is just a special kind of fighter that I’m sure will rule women’s MMA for quite some time. Santos could probably cross over to the men’s side, and she’ll probably still hand out a few beatings. Calling Carano a fraud for losing to Santos, is like calling Forrest Griffin a fraud after his embarrassing loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 101. Carano isn’t a fraud; she was just facing the pound-for-pound best female MMA fighter in the world.
With a professional MMA record of 7-1, Carano clearly has the skills needed to compete in her division. Gina also has the ability to draw in fans to the sport like no other female MMA fighter can. Carano’s Muay Thai skills are pretty solid, and her grappling skills have gotten better over the years.
Some say Carano’s looks are her biggest asset as an MMA fighter, but that really isn’t the case. If anything, her looks have prevented MMA purists from realizing she’s a pretty competent fighter.