White, Fertitta to meet Carano next week
July, 11, 2014
By Brett Okamoto
Robert Laberge/Getty ImagesDespite Gina Carano's five-year absence from the sport, Dana White insists she is ready to return.LAS VEGAS -- UFC president Dana White hopes to have Gina Carano under contract by the end of next week.
The UFC added to its female bantamweight division on Thursday, by signing professional boxer and undefeated mixed martial artist Holly Holm.
White told ESPN.com he and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta will look to add another major piece to the roster in Carano next week, when the two are scheduled to meet with her in Los Angeles.
"One down, one to go," White said. "I'm going to meet with Gina next week and get that f---ing thing done. Next week, man.
"It's just a matter of me and Lorenzo going to jump on a plane to Los Angeles, get in a room with her and her lawyer and get this thing done."
Carano (7-1) is considered the former face of female MMA, but has not fought since August 2009. She exited the sport following a first-round TKO loss to Cris "Cyborg" Justino in a Strikeforce featherweight title fight.
The UFC purchased Strikeforce in 2011, acquiring all of the promotion's contracts in the deal. Technically, Carano remained under Zuffa contract due to her original Strikeforce deal, but that contract expired last month.
A bantamweight title fight between defending champion Ronda Rousey and Carano would equal big business for the UFC. Rousey has stated publicly she credits Carano for her interest in the sport and would relish the opportunity to fight her.
According to White, the holdup in signing Carano (UFC Tonight reported two weeks ago talks had "stalled" between the two sides) has nothing to do with her desire to compete. It all comes down to finalizing details in a new contract.
"There is no doubt about it, she wants to fight," White said. "And she wants to fight Ronda."