Even though Gina Carano has not competed in professional mixed martial arts (MMA) in more than four years, the former female "face" of the sport has dominated recent headlines.
Indeed, ever since Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) commentator, Joe Rogan, teased a "huge announcement" regarding the next opponent for women's Bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, Carano -- along with Holly Holm and Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino -- were all high-profile names that ripped through the rumor mill.
In fact, company president Dana White had to state that his promotion is currently "not in negotiations" to lure back the Elite XC and Strikeforce superstar. And that's probably because the timing -- and circumstances -- just aren't right for Carano, who parlayed her successful combat sports career to become a major Hollywood action star.
As she recently informed FOXSports.com:
"I feel like I can't say too much [about recent conversations about a possible return]. I've got all this information that if I could just speak freely, this is actually what's going on. I wish I could open up my mind and tell you exactly the things that I've seen and the conversations that I've had, but I think to sum it up in a nice, safe way for me is if circumstances were right, and if it's a good enough circumstance [I would come back] because my first love is MMA."
Carano is still under contract with Zuffa, which acquired Strikeforce and select talent back in Jan. 2013. "Crush," however, has not been in a real, sanctioned cage fight since a technical knockout loss to the aforementioned "Cyborg" in late 2009.
Nonetheless, she still never officially closed the door.
"I've never retired. I've never officially said that. For some reason a part of me has always kept it open. I don't know, there's a certain part of me that thinks if circumstances were right, and I could keep doing what I'm trying to make my future into, that's an ideal world. If circumstances were right, you never know. I'm very open to it."
Carano, who turns 32 years old in three weeks, often struggled to make the 145-pound Featherweight limit. Combine that with the reality that she has not been in the midst of an intense MMA training camp in more than four years, and it's no surprise she isn't prepared to pull the trigger on a comeback on a whim.
She also has other -- more lucrative -- obligations that would seemingly prevent her from setting aside a full six months to prepare for a potential fight against Rousey ... or any other female for that matter.
In other words, Carano returning to MMA isn't happening soon:
"I haven't trained for a fight in a long time, so it gets kind of interesting when these rumors start coming up. But if I ever did do something like that, I would want the circumstances to be correct and right.... I would definitely take something like that extremely seriously. I would dedicate myself to it, and need the time because you're taking somebody who hasn't fought in a while, that hasn't been in the fight camp-type environment; and it would have to be done in a time where there would be enough time for me to get ready for that and be able to support myself during that time because that's all I'd be doing is taking that seriously, and it would take me away from other projects or potential projects that I've been working this far in my life to get to."
Timing is, indeed, everything.