Ronda Rousey's fourth defense of her UFC bantamweight title is less than two weeks away, but, at least for the present moment, any thoughts of a blockbuster fifth defense against former Strikeforce superstar turned Hollywood leading lady Gina Carano appear to have been put on hold.
According to a report made by MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight, negotiations between Carano (7-1) and the UFC have stalled. The situation is not dead in the water, as both sides still wish to work together, but as of this writing, Carano's Strikeforce contract has expired and the actress, who last fought in mid-2009 and this year turned 32 years old, is free to look elsewhere if she so desires.
Despite the news though, the UFC women's bantamweight division may ultimately receive a facelift of a different sort, as talks between Zuffa officials and former world champion boxer Holly Holm (7-0) are "progressing and are in a good place," according to Helwani, although a final deal has yet to be reached.
The 32-year-old Holm has quickly become one of the most promising female prospects within the 135-pound division since announcing her retirement from professional boxing, where she amassed a 33-2-3 record and 18 world titles across three weights classes.
Six out of Holm's seven professional mixed martial arts victories have ended via knockout or TKO, including her most recent outing, a five-round pasting of Juliana Werner that ended with a sizzling head kick combination and earned Holm the vacant Legacy FC women's bantamweight championship.
Holm's camp and UFC President Dana White initially encountered friction in their first meeting last March, leading White to state that the UFC was "not interested whatsoever" in acquiring Holm's services. Since then, though, White has taken a step back from the negotiating table and stated as recently as early-May that signing Holm -- as well as Carano -- was just "a matter of getting a deal done."