Two years ago, one of the hottest topics in MMA was the potential return of Gina Carano.
Photos were posted of her at the gym training. UFC president Dana White said Carano and the UFC were in discussions about a possible title fight with Ronda Rousey. Even Carano herself teased a return on late-night talk shows.
Carano's talks with the UFC fizzled and a fight with Rousey never came together. Since then, there has been very little talk of one of the most popular women to ever grace the cage making a comeback.
Even Kevin Ross is uncertain of it will ever happen and he has some first-hand insight. The Bellator Kickboxing star is dating the former MMA superstar and current Hollywood actress.
"Like anything else, you never really know," said Ross, who fights Matteo Taccini at the inaugural Bellator Kickboxing show April 16 in Turin, Italy. "It might happen, it might not. It's just a matter if it's something she wants to do. There's a million people that would love to see it I would love to see it, as well as I would hate to see it, because it's hard to watch someone you love fight or even someone you're friends with fight. I'm always kind of split."
Carano, 32, hardly needs MMA. She's had plenty of success in movies, most recently with a role in "Deadpool," which is now the largest grossing R-rated film of all time. Carano, who has also been in the "Fast & The Furious" franchise, is in the new "Kickboxer" sequel with Jean-Claude Van Damme and also has other things on her plate.
But Carano is in the gym all the time at CSA in Dublin, Calif., and other places. And the world of mixed martial arts would obviously welcome her back with open arms. Before Rousey, Carano was the biggest star in women's MMA. Her 2009 main event fight against Cris Cyborg in Strikeforce was the biggest fight in women's combat sports at the time.
Ross is split on whether he wants Carano to return. It's something he jostles with internally.
"Yeah, she's awesome to watch, so I do want to see that, but I don't want to see her get hit either," Ross said. "I'm partial to it."
While she does have many things going on outside the cage, the time does seem like a good one for Carano to come back. Women's MMA has never been bigger and Ross now fights for her former promoter, Scott Coker at Bellator. Coker is putting on a lot fan-friendly fights Carano is one of the biggest fan favorites there is.
Ross certainly wouldn't close the door on the possibility.
"Yeah, maybe," he said with a chuckle. "Never know."