Gina Carano Reveals Why She Never Fought Ronda Rousey
There was a time where Gina Carano was the biggest start in women’s MMA, even before Ronda Rousey. Now she explains why the two stars never fought each other.
From 2006-2008 there was not another woman as popular in MMA as Carano. Long before the UFC allowed women to compete, she was blowing people away with her beauty and charm, as well as fighting prowess. Therefore it came as a massive blow when she revealed that she would be stepping away from MMA to pursue a career as an actress.
Since making that decision, Gina Carano has appeared in some pretty big projects. She was in a Fast and Furious movie, as well as Deadpool, and most recently Disney+’s The Mandalorian. However there was once a time where she considered making the return to combat.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani recently, Carano explained that when Ronda Rousey began booming in popularity, the two were close to fighting. As she tells it, Gina was approached by the UFC, and in particular Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta, about a fight with Ronda. In fact, she says they offered her $1 million to take the fight.
“So they were like, ‘OK, well we’d love to offer you a million dollars. We’d love to have that fight.’ And I was like, ‘Well, that sounds great. I’m going to need you to do me a favor, then, because I’ve been acting, I’m not active in any gyms. So it’s going to take me, you know, you re going to have to give me some time to build a team or join a team.”
However, that was not how things ended up.
According to Gina Carano, immediately after this meeting, Dana White made the news public that they were working on a fight. Afterwards, Gina reached out to him, saying that this was not what they had agreed to. Moreover, she reiterated that she needed at least six months to put together a team to train with.
Carano then explains that White began putting pressure on her through the media, as he is known to do. This, coupled with the fact that he made it more difficult to subtly find a team made things tremendously hard. However, it was a text exchange afterwards, which completely removed the idea of this fight happening.
“So then he kept on doing that, and I was still kind of searching for a team and feeling all that pressure. then he sent me a text message saying, ‘This b—h is something, something like f-ing us around,’ something like that. And I sent a text message back and I said, ‘I think you sent this to the wrong person,’ and he said, ‘I don’t think I did.’ That was the last conversation that we had over text message.
I don’t think that was the kind of environment that I wanted to come back into. I cut all communication after that text. Then I remember seeing him when Mike Tyson and my dad were getting honored at a sports hall of fame in Las Vegas, and he did come over and he genuinely apologized.”
Gina Carano concluded that saying the fact that Dana White was holding the money over her head turned her off from the situation. It is certainly a shame that this massive fight fell through because of a situation like that. Considering White’s track record of ultra-hardball negotiating, this seems to align with his MO.