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Dana White will meet with Gina Carano Monday and is 'pretty confident' a deal will get done

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It looks like a deal between women's MMA vanguard Gina Carano is close to getting done. And her first fight in the UFC could be against the the relay to her baton-passing, Ronda Rousey, who won an ESPY award on Wednesday for "Best Female Athlete."

UFC president Dana White, while talking at the UFC Fight Night 46 pre-fight scrum, acknowledged that he and Carano will have an imminent discussion when he gets back from Dublin, Ireland this weekend.

"Next week," he said. "Next week, I have a meeting with [Carano] on Monday."

With the negotiation process ongoing, and the talks having heated up and cooled over recent weeks with Carano, White said he felt good this time about where his Monday meeting would end. Asked if he was confident a deal would be struck, he said, "we're pretty confident."

Carano last fought in a competitive cage fight against Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino in 2009. She lost that Strikeforce fight via TKO (punches) at the very end of the first round. Before then she'd gone 7-0 and almost single-handedly brought women's MMA into the spotlight. She graced the covers of ESPN The Magazine and Maxim before defecting towards Hollywood to pursue an acting career.

For the last several months Carano has flirted with the idea of returning to the fight game.

As to whether she would get the next shot at Rousey, if that was part of the deal that the UFC would present to her, White said that was the case.

"I think so, yeah," he said. "[In] December, probably."

Rousey is coming off a ferocious 16-second TKO victory over Alexis Davis at UFC 175 to defend her bantamweight belt. The relative dearth of challengers has led many to wonder who might be next. Cat Zingano, who was the No. 1 contender before injuring her knee, recently signed on to fight Amanda Nunes at UFC 178. Justino is still fighting under the Invicta banner, and will need to prove she can make 135 pounds before the UFC would be interested in signing her, a task that has haunted Carano for much of her career as well.

Rousey has gone on record saying that she respects Carano, and owes her own success to what Carano accomplished in the sport. She also has welcomed a fight against the 32-year old Carano since it was first mentioned to her months ago.

"Because of how much I love Gina, I'm going to fight her as if she's my worst enemy," she told in April. "I really believe she wouldn't want to beat me at anything other than my best, so that's how it needs to be done."

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