As Movie Release Nears, Scott Coker Expects Gina Carano Back Soon

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Scott Coker thinks Gina Carano will return to Strikeforce sooner rather than later.

Of course you have. But this time, he really believes it's going to happen.

That's what the Strikeforce CEO said again on Monday's episode of The MMA Hour. If you recall, Coker said back in October 2009 that Carano would return to action "probably towards the summertime" of 2010.

Obviously, that never happened.

"I believe she'll be back in the cage this year," Coker said Monday confidently.

"From what I know of her, she is a competitor at heart; she's going to want to fight. She's not going to want to end her career the way it ended. So, I think she'll be back."

Carano hasn't competed since losing the Strikeforce 145-pound title fight to Cris Cyborg in August 2009. Since then, she has embarked on a movie career, with her first major motion picture, Haywire, directed by Steven Soderbergh and also starring Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas and Ewan McGregor, expected to be released in theaters on April 22, 2011.

In the film, Carano plays the leading role of character "Mallory Kane," described by IMDB.com as a "a beautiful freelance covert operative ... hired out by her handler to various global entities to perform jobs which governments can't authorize and heads of state would rather not know about."

The success of the film could obviously delay Carano's return to MMA. Coker, though, feels like arguably the biggest mainstream star on his roster will be back soon enough.

"This girl's a real fighter. She's not this actress that became a fighter. She's a real fighter that became an actress. So that fight is inside her."

(Ed. note: watch Monday's episode of The MMA Hour below.)

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