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Coach discusses Gina Carano’s potential return to MMA

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The rumor of a potential return of the former Strikeforce star Gina Carano to MMA is getting stronger, but nothing is official yet.

UFC president Dana White said at the UFC 173 post-fight media scrum that he "owes her a call" about a potential UFC fight. Carano, who competed for the last time in a featherweight clash with Cris Cyborg for the Strikeforce title in 2009, is back to training, but not eying a UFC bout (yet).

Laercio Fernandes, a black belt under Givanildo Santana and multiple-time jiu-jitsu champion, has been teaching Carano for a year in California, and he’s proud of her evolution.

"She’s doing great. She trains well, but she has a lot of things to do, like interviews and movies," Fernandes told MMAFighting.com. "I always tell her ‘no pressure, do what you want to do. When you feel in your heart, you’ll know if you want to fight or not’. She has a big heart.

"She’s the type of person that loves martial arts," he continued. "She respects the traditions and loves to be around. She trains because she loves it. There’s nothing set with the UFC or things like that."

Carano hasn’t fought in almost five years, but her jiu-jitsu coach is confident that she has what it takes to be back in action if that’s what she wants to do.

"I believe she can compete in MMA, muay Thai or jiu-jitsu if she focuses on it," he said. "Anyone can compete at the highest level if you focus on it and do a professional work, and it’s easier with her since she has a great background and a history in this sport. She just needs to get back with a good team and compete.

"She has to sit with the whole team and talk about it. I never talk to her about it," he said about a possible negotiation with the UFC. "The only think I told her was ‘if you don’t want to get in the UFC, no problem, we’ll continue training.’ You never know. We never discussed this, to be honest with you."