Coker Expects Gina Carano to Fight in 2011


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Gina Carano: Terry Goodlad | Sherdog.com

With a starring role in Steven Soderbergh’s soon-to-be-released film “Knockout,” Gina Carano seems to be doing just fine in her life outside of MMA.

However, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker thinks Carano will return to the cage in 2011.

“I believe so,” Coker said Friday during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network.

Carano fought last on Aug. 15, 2009, in a widely anticipated matchup against Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. With one second left in the opening round, Santos stopped Carano to hand her the first loss of her career and win the Strikeforce 145-pound women’s title.

“I know Gina is not going to go out the way that it went down,” Coker said. “Her whole thing now is just timing and scheduling. She’s got the movie coming out in April, I believe, and she’s got some more stuff on her plate.”

After which Coker expects Carano to give in to the pull to fight again, the same as other film crossovers have before her.

“I know, just like Cung [Le] or other people that have [been] part of the film business … they’re still a fighter by heart, believe me, and they have that desire to compete,” Coker said. “I think Gina will be the same. It’s just a matter of time. I believe she will fight in 2011.”

• Coker suggested Robbie Lawler could get a title shot against middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza if Lawler defeats Matt Lindland on Dec. 4. However, if Lindland wins, a rematch against Souza doesn’t sound likely: “I think if Robbie wins, I think that would be a great fight. Let’s just see what happens on December 4. Jacare, I know he wants to fight, get back in the cage. We’ll have him probably in the first quarter of [2011]. He definitely will be fighting.”

• Coker discussed whether Strikeforce will be on CBS in 2011: “We’re going to start a dialogue with them in the beginning of the year. It’s something that’s going to be an ongoing dialogue. The relationship is good. They just helped put out a DVD that hit the shelves this month as well as [we’re] working on some other television opportunities. On the broadcast side, we all know what happened last year in Nashville. We’re going to pick it up again in the beginning of the year. I had a good conversation with [CBS executive] Kelly Kahl at the EA Sports party last, what, two weeks ago in L.A. ... The conversation is ongoing, and it’s always a good dialogue.”

• Coker would like to promote Josh Thomson against Tatsuya Kawajiri in the U.S.

• Coker was impressed with Shinya Aoki’s win over Kawajiri. He said Aoki looked much more comfortable in a ring than he did in the cage against Gilbert Melendez. He’s working on a rematch between Melendez and Aoki that would take place in a ring on New Year’s Eve in Japan.

• Coker would like to match Brett Rogers against Lavar Johnson.

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:43:58) with Scott Coker, who also discussed co-promotion with Bellator.

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