Gina Carano has revealed that she almost fought Ronda Rousey in the UFC, but Dana White blew the deal before it came to fruition.
“When Ronda Rousey became popular, I remember they finally called for a meeting and I walked into this restaurant and (then-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White) looked like two big muscly guys at the table in the middle of Hollywood and I remember thinking, ‘What took you guys so long?’” Carano recalled in an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
According to Carano, the UFC head honcho’s then proceeded to offer her $1 million to fight Rousey, and she was up for the challenge, despite not having fought for several years since a loss to Cris ‘Cyborg’ back in 2009.
“I told them they would have to be able to sit on it for six months, Dana, you can’t say anything and let me get situated with that in mind because that sounds great and I’d love to do it. It was a nice dinner and we all left positive and I left stoked. It made sense. This is my moment to come and be back in there.”
However, White didn’t keep his lips sealed on the potential fight and instead was soon telling the media about their meeting, which didn’t sit well with Carano.
“He started trying to put on the pressure through the media. It was a bummer because I told him over a text message that it was not what we had talked about. I need time, and now I am going to walk into a gym and people know that’s what I’m doing and I needed to build trust and find people.
“Then he kept on doing that and kept on doing that and I’m still searching for a team and feeling all that pressure. Then he sent me a text message that said, ‘This bitch is effing us around,’ or something like that.
“I sent a text message back and said, ‘I think that you sent that to the wrong person.’ He said, ‘I don’t think I did,’ and that was the last conversation that we ever had over text message because I don’t think that was the kind of environment that I wanted to come back into. So I just cut all communication after that text.”
Carano says that a long time later she met White face-to-face by chance and he “genuinely apologized,” but by then it was too late.
Though a return to MMA never materialized for Carano, she has managed to forge an acting career for herself in Hollywood, appearing in a number of blockbuster movies over the years, including Deadpool and Fast And Furious 6, while she’s currently starring in the major new Disney+ Star Wars series, ‘The Mandalorian.’