There was a lot of buzz last night surrounding a rumor that Bellator were about to steal the UFC’s thunder by signing MMA star turned Hollywood actress Gina Carano.
It would have been a huge coup for the UFC’s biggest rivals, however, despite a number of MMA sites running with the story, MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani has since reported that according to Bellator’s new CEO Scott Coker and other sources at the promotion, Carano hasn’t signed for them.
According to Helwani one source did say that Bellator do have an announcement planned, but stated that it was “up for debate” whether it could be called a major story or not. Rest assured that if they had indeed captured Carano’s signature it would be an absolutely massive story!
With that in mind it could be that former Strikeforce champion Marloes Coenen is the fighter who Bellator have signed based on a Twitter message she sent out yesterday.
“There’s something I want to tell you but I have to wait a little longer…. #MMA” Coenen teased.
That comment resulted in reporters initially jumped the gun yesterday, assuming that Coenen was being signed to fight Carano, but in the cold light of day it’s clear to see that’s not the case.
Given that Coenen has never been on good terms with the UFC, reuniting with her old Strikeforce boss Coker at Bellator would make sense to some extent. Having said that, with the UFC and Invicta FC essentially having a stranglehold over the vast majority of the top female fighters in the sport it’s not immediately obvious who they could pair her up with.
Invicta FC recently signing a deal to air their live events on the UFC.TV service so it could well be that Coenen is going to be fighting for them again instead, and indeed she has fought for the all-female promotion on two occasions already, most recently suffering a TKO loss in a rematch with Cris ‘Cyborg’ last year.
As for Carano, the best thing for her would still appear to be a deal with the UFC which would lead to a money-spinning title fight with Ronda Rousey on pay-per-view.
That would appear to be easier said than done though as, despite initially been very confident that he could get a deal to bring Carano to the UFC done, UFC President Dana White recently acknowledged that so far the negotiations has been, ‘complicated’.