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Gina Carano Returning to MMA

By Sean Farrell

Even though it looks grim most signs are pointing to the opposite, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stands by his prediction that MMA’s sweetheart Gina Carano will be returning to the cage in 2011.

During a recent interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Coker spoke his belief with confidence, telling Helwani, “I believe she’ll be back in the cage this year.”

Carano became the face of women’s MMA during its infancy, because of her amazing appearance and superb fight skill inside the cage. A member of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Carano built a 7-0 record before meeting current featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos in a title fight back in August of 2009. Carano held her own against the Brazilian wrecking machine in the early going, but succumbed to “Cyborg’s” attack with 1 second left in the first round.

That loss marks the last time MMA has seen Carano in the cage, and Coker believes that the feeling which drove Carano to enter MMA in the first place will lure her back into MMA at some point.

“From what I know of her, she is a competitor at heart; she’s going to want to fight,” he said. “She’s not going to want to end her career the way it ended. So, I think she’ll be back.” Carano has since embarked on an acting career which she has turned into moderate success. Her most high-profile movie is set to debut this year; in the Steven Soderbergh film HAYWIRE. Carano is the lead character, a female spy, opposite the cast of Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas and Bill Paxton.

Despite Carano’s acting career taking off, Coker still sees Carano’s true passion being MMA .”This girl’s a real fighter. She’s not this actress that became a fighter. She’s a real fighter that became an actress,” Coker asserted. “So that fight is inside her.”

HAYWIRE is expected to debut on April 22nd, 2011.

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