You see this photo? It was posted by Zoila Frausto over the weekend, with the caption “Today’s training session @csagym was with these two!! They were awesome and I feel so fortunate!” On the right is none other than former Strikeforce featherweight star Gina Carano.
As you might expect, this photo has led to rampant speculation that “Conviction” might be returning to MMA, but for realz this time. And we are here to say that not only is Carano not returning to MMA, but that we as a community need to stop discussing or even hinting at the idea of Carano fighting in the UFC, Bellator, WSOF, Titan FC, or the long defunct YAMMA pit fighting. In fact, it is far more likely that YAMMA pit fighting will experience a renaissance than Ms. Carano’s MMA career, so for the good of us all, we need to let her go quietly into that good night.
Look, we’ll readily admit to partaking in this fool’s pursuit before. We’ve arguably been the worst offenders of the bunch. I guess you could say we’ve got a soft spot for memorable personalities like Carano, what with her proclivity for lip bite gifs and general adorableness. And for a minute there, it seemed as if a Carano return to MMA was actually on the table. “I’ll be signing Gina Carano next week,” Dana White told us, and despite everything we’ve come to learn about him, we believed it. And oh, how it hurt when those negotiations inevitably fell through.
And I know what you’re thinking, “But Jared, if Kimbo can return to the game after a half decade absence, why not Carano?” Well, 1) Because Kimbo has at least been keeping busy crushing cans in the boxing ring since leaving MMA and 2) Because Kimbo doesn’t have a burgeoning film career to worry about (though in all honesty, he should). I know the UFC’s re-signing of Mirko Cro Cop has led many of us to believe that we might be entering a mid-2000′s throwback era of MMA, but Carano’s return to the game is simply too good to be true. It always has been.
The point is, it’s over. Carano has moved onto bigger, better things, and she isn’t coming back. She hasn’t fought in the better part of a decade. She has five film projects lined up for this year alone, and seems well on her way to establishing herself as one of the most ass-kickingest women in Hollywood. And most importantly, no amount of money that the UFC could possibly offer her we be enough to rectify the absolute embarrassment she would suffer at the hands of Ronda Rousey. I mean, can you even imagine how quickly that fight would be over? The UFC would have to enact some kind of EliteXC/Seth Petruzelli deal just to ensure that Carano would last longer than Alexis Davis: an actual, current MMA fighter who Rousey treated like so:
So please, legitimate MMA media, stop biting the idea of Carano’s return sinker, tackle box, and canoe (to borrow a phrase from Tito Ortiz). You’re only embarrassing yourself with this clickbait nonsense. What was it that Red said about Andy Dufresne after he escaped Shawshank prison?
“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone.”
Yeah…all of that. (*cries*)