After inking a deal with Holly Holm yesterday, UFC is continuing efforts to bolster its women’s bantamweight division. “One down, one to go,” White told ESPN.com. “I’m going to meet with Gina [Carano] next week and get that [expletive] thing done. Next week, man.”
Carano, 32, has not competed in nearly five years. During her three-year run from 2006-2009, Carano became MMA’s first female star. Her 2008 CBS bout against Kaitlin Young gained more viewers than any fight in US MMA history to that point. Carano’s final fight, in a losing effort against Cris “Cyborg” Justino, was the first women’s fight to headline a major card and drew record ratings on Showtime. Negotiations for her return to competition in the UFC, spurred by the expiration of her Strikeforce contract, have been ongoing for a few months.
“It’s just a matter of me and [UFC CEO] Lorenzo [Fertitta] going to jump on a plane to Los Angeles, get in a room with her and her lawyer and get this thing done,” White added. “There is no doubt about it. She wants to fight, and she wants to fight Ronda.”
White has previously indicated Carano would receive an immediate championship match against Ronda Rousey should she return.