According to an Aug. 12 report from Fansided, former Strikeforce superstar, Gina Carano, is expected to sign with Bellator MMA, just days after contract negotiations with the UFC fell apart. UFC President Dana White and UFC higher-ups had been trying to work out a deal with Carano for over a month, but the sides never got close enough to strike up a deal. Apparently, Carano and her staff worked out a better package with Bellator MMA and Viacom.
Bellator MMA has confirmed that they will make a historic announcement on the afternoon of Aug. 12. However, they would not confirm exactly what the news is all about. Rumors are swirling on social media that Carano will be joining the Bellator MMA roster, along with Marloes Coenen. Time will tell how the situation pans out, so fight fans should wait patiently for more details to emerge.
Carano was being looked at to fight UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey in her first MMA fight in five years. Most fight fans believed that bout would be a bit of a squash match, so it never came to fruition. A fight between Rousey and Carano likely is best kept to fantasy, since the star judoka probably would have earned a first-round finish.
Carano heading to Bellator makes more sense for all parties involved. Bellator got rid of its women's division earlier this year, but new CEO Scott Coker apparently wants to bring it back. Coker hasn't revealed which weight class he plans to add to Bellator. It hasn't been announced if Bellator will have an entire division of female fighters, or if they will just do one-off fights.
With Carano and Coenen possibly being added to the roster, its a nice start to fill out what could be a full division of talented female combatants. If Carano collides with Coenen, Bellator MMA gets a big win either way. Both women are incredibly marketable superstars who have good looks and elite cage-fighting skills.
Carano, 32, hasn't fought since 2009, when she was knocked out by Cris Santos. As for Coenen, the 33-year-old hasn't fought in over a year. She last competed at Invicta FC 6, where she was knocked out by Santos. Coenen, one of the pioneers of women's MMA, holds a 21-6 record overall. Carano went 7-1, before shifting to a film career in 2010.
No announcement has been made on when Carano's Bellator MMA debut will be, and the same goes for Coenen. Bellator is expected to send out a statement regarding the signings on the afternoon of Aug. 12. Fight fans will have to be patient, until more details emerge about Carano and Coenen. Props to Bellator for bolstering its roster with two of the most talented females in the world.