Gina Carano 'Very Certain' She'll Sign With Strikeforce Soon

Gina Carano, the most popular female fighter in mixed martial arts, said Friday that she is "very certain" she will sign a contract soon to fight for Strikeforce in August, and she expects her return to the cage to be a title fight against Cristiane" Cris Cyborg" Santos.

When I asked Carano when she'll fight again, she said, "It's looking like August. I'm getting ready to sign the Strikeforce contract, so we're going for August, I think. ... I'm very certain it's going to be very soon. Unless something crazy happens, it's going to be very soon."

Carano said she is satisfied with the way her contract talks have gone, and so is Strikeforce.

"I think we're just about there," Carano said. "I'm in Canada right now, so probably the week I get back. Everything is going pretty well so I think we're just about there."

Carano hasn't fought since October, when she participated in the final fight card put on by the now-defunct EliteXC organization. Strikeforce purchased EliteXC's assets in February but still hasn't been able to get Carano to sign on the dotted line. Carano said Friday that it has simply been a matter of making sure she knows she's making the right deal for herself.

"It's been money and rights, and I just have experience now with contracts not being in favor of the fighters, and so here in this instance where I have a chance to negotiate, I just wanted to make sure it went as planned and we took advantage of that," Carano said. "A lot of these fighters are just signing their lives away, signing their rights away, and it's hard because they're not really in position to negotiate. It's kind of a fortunate position to be able to negotiate. So that's what's taking so long, really."

The full interview with Carano, which includes more thoughts on her Strikeforce negotiations, the fighters she most admires, her status as a celebrity and the new Round 5 figurines that bear her image, will run next week at FanHouse.

Gina Carano Photos

    Martial artist Gina Carano attends Maxim's 10th Annual Hot 100 Celebration Presented by Dr Pepper Cherry, True Religion Brand Jeans, Stolichnaya Vodka and Corona held at Barker Hangar on May 13, 2009 in Santa Monica, California.

    Jason Merritt, Getty Images

    Professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter Gina Carano arrives at Maxim's 2009 Hot 100 Party at Barker Hangar on May 13, 2009 in Santa Monica, California.

    Jon Kopaloff, FilmMagic

    Gina Carano catches all the action at the Strikeforce show on Saturday, April 11, 2009 in San Jose, Calif.

    Tom Casino, Strikeforce

    MMA fighter Gina Carano and UFC fighter Tyson Griffin attend UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar at the MGM Garden Arena on November 15, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Jon Kopaloff, Getty Images

    Gina Carano, right, punches Kelly Kobold during an Elite XC show on Oct. 4, 2008.

    Tom Casino, CBS-SHOWTIME

    Gina Carano kicks Kelly Kobold during an Elite XC show on Oct. 4, 2008.

    Tom Casino, CBS-SHOWTIME

    Mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano during a segment of "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" at CBS Television City on September 29, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

    Francis Specker, Landov

    Gina Carano, right, punches Kelly Kobold during an Elite XC show on Oct. 4, 2008.

    Tom Casino, CBS-SHOWTIME

    Gina Carano, right, kicks Kelly Kobold during an Elite XC show on Oct. 4, 2008.

    Tom Casino, CBS-SHOWTIME

    AMERICAN GLADIATORS -- Pictured: Gina "Crush" Carano

    Paul Drinkwater, NBC

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