"I would have never been an MMA fighter if it wasn't for Gina Carano."
Those were the words from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, just a few days before she made history at UFC 157 back in 2013 (read 'em). "Rowdy," like many of today's female fighters, watched "Conviction" break new ground several years ago in Strikeforce.
And because of it, she's earned special treatment.
So it should come as no surprise then, to learn that Rousey would be willing to put her belt up for grabs if the Carano-to-UFC rumors came true. But if the former American Gladiator was unable to make the bantamweight limit, the Olympian would consider meeting her at 145 pounds.
From her UFC 171 media scrum (via MMA Fighting):
For her part, Rousey said that despite Carano's lengthy layoff, she believes the former fighter turned actress would absolutely deserve an immediate UFC title shot if she were to return, because of "everything that she's done for the sport and the pioneer that she is."
Additionally, Rousey stated that she would be open to fighting at a catchweight with Carano, who fought the majority of her career at 145 pounds, despite it being a compromise Rousey has historically resisted for other challengers, such as Invicta FC champion Cris "Cyborg" Santos.
"There are exceptions that I would make for Gina that I wouldn't make for anyone else," Rousey said.
That includes Cristiane Justino.
"Cyborg" -- who knows a thing or two about fighting Carano -- tried her damnedest to get a fight with Rousey at featherweight, but to no avail. So, she parted ways with manager Tito Ortiz and announced that she would drop to 135 pounds.
Just wait until she hears this.
Carano (7-1) still has four fights remaining on her UFC contract -- acquired in the acquisition of Strikeforce -- and UFC President Dana White already said he would "definitely" give her a fight. In fact, we've heard from everyone on this matter except Carano herself.
Any idea why?