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Bellator MMA considering adding women's division, has engaged in preliminary talks with Gina Carano

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Esther Lin, Showtime Sports

Bellator is close to getting back into the women's MMA business.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the new Bellator regime -- led by former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker -- is interested in adding at least one women's division to the promotion, with featherweight (145 pounds) being the leading candidate right now.

On Monday, rumors online stated that Bellator had signed Gina Carano, but Coker told that those rumors were not true. However, sources have confirmed with that there have been preliminary talks between Carano's management team and Bellator about Carano joining the Viacom-owned promotion, though, no deal has been reached.

Of course, it's no secret that the UFC has been interested in signing Carano to fight Ronda Rousey, however, both sides have yet to come to terms on a deal, as well.

Carano and Coker have a history together, as she fought for Strikeforce twice. Carano's last fight -- an Aug. 2009 loss to Cris Cyborg -- was under the Strikeforce banner. Since then, she has pursued a movie career but has expressed a desire to return to MMA this year.

It would make sense for Bellator to add a 145-pound women's division, since the UFC doesn't have that division and it's arguably the most shallow one in Invicta FC, the all-women's promotion.

At one time, Bellator featured a fairly strong women's strawweight division, but it dissolved in Aug. 2013.