Well, it’s really seeming less and less likely that Gina Carano will be coming back to compete in MMA.
In spite of the fact that she says she is undecided whether or not her professional future resides in the cage or on the big screen, Carano, who attended Friday’s UFC 141 event in Las Vegas to help promote the upcoming January 20 release of her film, “Haywire,” seems to be talking a lot in the past tense when addressing her fight career.
Gina told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani that she spent the past two-and-a-half years making the film and getting to know herself better and flip-flopped between explaining that she pulled out of her June fight with Sarah D’Alelio due to medical and personal reasons, adding that she wished that the media would just stop asking what the issue was.
Check out the video and read the most telling quotes after the jump.
“I had some personal issues. I had some personal issues and I had to take care of it, and…uh…yeah,” Carano explained uncomfortably. “I know everybody’s tryin’ to get the answer. I hope that people will just let that go. It was…uh…I couldn’t fight.”
Perhaps the most telling statement Carano made during the brief Q&A came when Helwani asked the former face of EliteXC and Strikeforce if she was anxious to right the ship after incurring her first MMA loss to Cris “Cyborg” Santos nearly three years ago.
“I don’t think my ego works like that. I kind of wish it did, cos maybe if it did I would have been a better fighter,” she said. “I really feel that I’m a late bloomer in a lot of ways and I really got pushed out there fast — almost too fast.”
Notice the “could have been,” rather than “could be.” It may be a coincidence, but it seems like she’s talking a lot like a former fighter.
When asked by Helwani if she would have changed her career trajectory, “Crush” says she wouldn’t change any aspect of her life.
“This was obviously God’s plan to kinda show me what life’s about and I have gotten some of the most beautiful experiences that a person could possibly ask for, so I’m not at all complaining. I got pushed out fast and I got to pave a beautiful way,” Carano explained. “There’s a lot of great female MMA fighters out there right now and there will be more in the future and I’ve absolutely adored being one of those people that’s helped that.”
“I don’t know [if I'll keep acting or go back to fighting]. I think that acting is something that I’d like to get to know better. Acting is definitely something you can do longterm, but I don’t really have an answer to that right now and I’m not going to force one. Because one thing I know is you can’t force anything,” she pointed out. “As much as I’d love for this movie to be a great hit, you can’t force that and as much as I’d like to be the best female MMA fighter in the world, you can’t force that. It’s gotta come from somewhere pure and It’s gotta happen, not cos you’re forcing it. I’m a big fan of not forcing myself down people’s throats.”
Carano says that there have been a number of offers for work since she’s been away from fighting and that she hasn’t had time to contemplate her next move since she’s been so consumed with promoting the film.
“We do have a lot of opportunities and a lot of things that we’re looking at. Really, I just honestly cannot wait to get on the other side of [the movie]. I really do. I want to get on the other side of January 20th and really sit down and see what Gina really wants to do,” Carano explained. “It’s been a two-year deal. It’s given me some time to spend with my family and it’s given me some time to sit and figure some things out. I’m still the same person, but with a little bit more knowledge on how to be healthy and how to love myself a little bit better. I don’t know [if I'll fight again]. We’ll see. I really don’t have an answer. I just think after January 20th we’ll know a lot more.”
As far as Carano’s longtime dream of fighting under the UFC banner, she seemed to be talking on behalf of women’s MMA, rather than herself when she told Helwani that she is hopeful that Zuffa will one day have WMMA featured in the Octagon.
“It’s also kind of interesting because I always thought it would happen, and I’m also still holding onto a dream that women will fight in the UFC. I don’t understand why they don’t put a superfight on between two females that people really want to see fight. And there’s so many great females out there now, so yeah, it’s still a dream.”