Morning Report: Gina Carano 'very open' to returning to MMA

I must admit, when UFC commentator Joe Rogan recently made his now infamous tease about some massive women's MMA news coming down the pike, Gina Carano, 31, hardly came to mind. The women's MMA pioneer has been absent from the sport going on five years and the likelihood of a return to competition was sandwiched somewhere between Brock Lesnar and Jerry Rice. With chatter of a possible UFC debut against women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey reaching a fever pitch, it seems Carano even felt the need to weigh-in.

Speaking with FOX Sports, Carano explains that despite her layoff, she's maintained her open-ended status should just this sort of occasion arise.

"I don't mind it at all. I've never retired. I've never officially said that," says Carano. "For some reason a part of me has always kept it open. I don't know, there's a certain part of me that thinks if circumstances were right, and I could keep doing what I'm trying to make my future into, that's an ideal world. If circumstances were right, you never know. I'm very open to it."

Carano is keeping details fairly tightlipped, but it certainly sounds as if talks have progressed beyond idle flirting.

"I feel like I can't say too much. I've got all this information that if I could just speak freely, this is actually what's going on," Carano teased. "I wish I could open up my mind and tell you exactly the things that I've seen and the conversations that I've had, but I think to sum it up in a nice, safe way for me is if circumstances were right, and if it's a good enough circumstance (I would come back) because my first love is MMA.

"Of course I haven't trained for a fight in a long time so it gets kind of interesting when these rumors start coming up. But if I ever did do something like that, I would want the circumstances to be correct and right."

Unlike Rousey, who enjoys juggling her Octagon duties with appearing in Hollywood films, Carano says a return to fighting would require her complete focus, making it that much harder for the emerging action star to step away from acting.

"I'm more of a fan of MMA now than I've ever been. I'm saying if the circumstance was right, I'd definitely consider it. If the circumstances were right."

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Weidman injured. UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has suffered a slight knee injury, forcing his title bout with Lyoto Machida to be moved from UFC 173 to UFC 175 in July.

The ol' fighter-cookie analogy. Phil Davis' trash talk is making me hungry. "I think of Jon Jones as a shortbread cookie. He's soft, he's sweet, but when I get my hands on him he's going to crumble in the palm of my hand, that's what I think about Jon Jones."

"I was happy." Melvin Guillard doesn't sound too broken up about being cut by the UFC. "For me to be in the UFC for nine years and not even break the 50/50 mark in pay, that's like working at a Fortune 500 and not getting a promotion at all."

'Our Mayweather vs. Pacquiáo.' Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp says a fight between Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg risks being the next Fedor vs. Randy.

Lunch with DFW. Dana White clues in the Financial Times on the UFC's true valuation and claims three fighters have earned at least $30 million during their careers with the promotion.

It's Tuesday, so make sure to check out The MMA Hour featuring Dave Meltzer, Phil Davis, Arianny Celeste, Kenny Florian, Steve Carl and Melvin Guillard.

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MEDIA STEW

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Free fight: Randy Couture vs. Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 102.

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Highlights from Bellator 113.

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Heavyweight boxer and training partner Dillian Whyte explains what went wrong for Jimi Manuwa against Alexander Gustafsson.

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UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby talk fighter development.

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Highlights from Cage Warriors FC 66.

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Great update on Matt Grice.

(HT to r/MMA)

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Long watches.

5 Rounds on Henderson vs. Shogun, Cutting-Edge Training & Anniversary Reflection

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TWEETS

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Victory lap.

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Better luck next time.

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Fair?

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Get well soon.

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Congrats.

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The people have spoken.

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Good stuff.

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My research of Noches Con Platinito ended very quickly.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Mar. 24 2014)

Chris Weidman vs. Lyoto Machida moved from UFC 173 to UFC 175

Pawel Pawlak vs. Peter Sobotta at UFC Fight Night: Berlin

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via DirtyBird2.

The Event we've all been waiting for! Bellator MMA 114 Rundown

Hello folks, If you've been around here the past 2 months patrolling the comments you've probably seen me pumping up this event in particular. Although it may not seem it to the untrained eye This event is stacked.

Alexander Shlemanko is finally back defending his title, riding an astounding 12 fight win streak, since losing to UFC title contender Hector Lombard. Including a first round stoppage of Doug Marshall, two decisions over Brett cooper, among others. He will face 9-1 prospect Brennan Ward who is a serious threat to the title. This dude is a grinder, he will wear you down the whole fight and can finish as well. And at the ripe young age of 25 this dude can only get better. We've got another cold war for the Bellator title.

Speaking of Brett Cooper, he will face 13 fight UFC veteran, Show fight MW champion, and The Ultimate Fighter season 3 winner Kendall "Da Spyer" Grove in the opening round of the Bellator MW tournament. Cooper is coming off back to back losses, in which he was KO'd by Marshall, and then lost a very close fight with the Champion, but before all that he was riding a very nice 6 fight win streak. He will look to right the ship against Grove in the first fight on the Main card on SpikeTv.

...

Check out the rest of the post here.

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Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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