The negotiation process between the UFC and free agent Gina Carano has played out largely behind closed doors, which has led to a lot of speculation. UFC president Dana White said last month that signing Carano was "complicated," but that he felt good that a deal would be done. The idea, he said, would be to sign Carano and match her against current bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey.
Well, on Saturday in Macau, during the UFC Fight Night 48 post-fight media scrum, White reiterated that stance when asked about the pioneer of women's MMA.
"Yeah it's complicated, but I think we're close," White said. "I think we're close."
Carano last fought five years ago in Strikeforce, and has since pursued an acting career in Hollywood. Earlier this year the 32-year old Carano made it known that she was contemplating a return to fighting, which prompted the UFC to begin talks. Questions as to whether Carano could make the 135-pound limit surfaced, as well as cries about the meritocracy within the division. Rousey herself said that she would welcome a fight with Carano, should she sign with the UFC.
Things got a little more interesting a couple of weeks ago when Bellator signed Julia Budd and Marloes Coenen to contracts in introducing a women's featherweight division (the weight class that Carano last fought at back in 2009, when she lost to Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino). However, Bellator president Scott Coker appeared on The MMA Hour last Monday and said that bringing Carano on wasn't likely, because his one-time star wanted to compete as a bantamweight. Meanwhile, the UFC is still trying to bring Carano into the fold.
Asked if he still had a date in mind to book Carano-Rousey should the deal get done, White said he wasn't sure.
"I don't know. I had plans, but now I don't know," he said. "We have to see how this thing plays out. Like I said, I wouldn't know more about that until September. First week of September I should have more answers."