Female mixed martial arts pin-up Gina Carano might have been out of the media spotlight for much of the last couple of years, but yet she still remains one of the sport’s hottest properties.

That was proven today when it was revealed that Esquire Magazine has Carano at No.6 on their ‘Sexiest Women Alive’ list for 2011.

“For having the guts of a fighter but not the body of one. For drawing the attention of Steven Soderbergh, who cast her in his new movie, Haywire, in which she – an MMA fighter – plays a spy who’s as tough as she is lovely. And for unintentionally making Channing Tatum look like a good actor, at least in comparison,” the magazine writes.

Carano’s star power is only set to rise further when ‘Haywire’ does finally get a cinema release on January 20th, and she is also still rumored to be making her long awaited MMA return on Strikeforce’s December 17th event.

At the same time, with the Strikeforce promotion’s future still hanging in the balance and UFC president Dana White still reluctant to bring the woman’s divisions into the UFC, Carano’s long-term future in the sport continues to remains unclear.