One of the pioneers of women's MMA, Gina Carano hasn't stepped foot in the cage since August 2009, so she realizes it's now or never if she plans on making a comeback.
The 31-year-old fighter-turned-actress appeared on Thursday night's edition of The Arsenio Hall Show and revealed that she has never lost the passion to fight and is actually meeting with UFC President Dana White next week. This is what she told Hall, per MMA Fighting:
I love it. It's something I can do that makes everything else disappear. I dream about it. I just didn't know if I was ever going to get placed with the opportunity to make a comeback. So I'm either going to do it now or retire and say, I'm never going to do it. So now is the moment. ... There's not a workout that I go through that I'm not fighting somebody in my mind. And it's never gone away.
Carano again made headlines in the MMA community when rumors swirled on MMA Fighting that she would be signed by the UFC to fight Ronda Rousey this summer, later becoming the subject of a widely believed April Fool's joke.
While there will be no "bikinis only, jello MMA match" on the horizon, it appears that the star of action flick In the Blood (in theaters Friday) is still interested in reaching the pinnacle of the sport.
While Carano has never competed inside the Octagon, she is technically still under UFC contract since she competed under the Strikeforce banner, which was bought out by the UFC's parent company—Zuffa, LLC—in March 2011.
Carano was 1-1 in Strikeforce, winning a unanimous decision over Elaina Maxwell in December 2006 and suffering a TKO at the hands of Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino in August 2009—the only loss of her career.
Also worth mentioning is that Carano hasn't competed at bantamweight (135 pounds) since June 2006 and has competed as heavy as a 150-pound catchweight in December 2006.
Therefore, it would be interesting to see how difficult it would be for her to make bantamweight almost eight years later—the only women's weight class that currently exists in the UFC.
Would signing Carano be a good move or little more than a publicity stunt by the UFC?
John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.