Before Ronda Rousey, it was Gina Carano who brought the spotlight to women’s mixed martial arts. Carano was one of the biggest stars in the sport and fans had often called for a superfight between Carano and Rousey; both of who had crossover appeal.
Unfortunately, the fight never happened. And now, after Carano spoke with Ariel Helwani of ESPN, we know why.
“And it’s not an easy thing, as I’m sure all the fighters know. You have to find a team or build one that’s going to be into what you’re doing, and if you haven’t actively been a part of anything, you can walk in as Gina Carano or whoever, but you’re still going to have to find the people who are really going to be there for you, and that takes time. So I told them, ‘You got to be able to just sit on this for about six months, Dana. You can’t say anything and let me get situated with that, because that sounds great and I’d love to do it.’ So it was a nice dinner, and we all left positive.”
However, after that meeting, things took a turn for the worse.
Carano says that White and Fertitta continued to hang the $1 million offer over her head. There was also a constant pressure for Carano, who was turned off when White went to the media to discuss that the two sides had been in talks despite her asking for some time to get a fight camp together.
The pressure from White continued, and ultimately an expletive-laden text message was the final straw.
I was still kind of searching for a team and feeling all that pressure, and then he sent me a text message saying, ‘This (expletive) is something, like (expletive) us around,’ something like that. And I sent a text message back and I sent, ‘I think you sent this out to the wrong person,’ and he said, ‘I don’t think I did.’ That was the last conversation that we had over text message. Because I don’t think that was the kind of environment that I wanted to come back into.
“But, yeah, I just don’t think even $1 million, you shouldn’t, when people hold money over your head, which they have done since I was a little girl, it’s just never been a turn-on for me. I don’t have a problem with authority; I just have a problem with abused authority, and that’s my thing, so that was the end of that conversation.”
It is unfortunate that we never got to witness Carano vs. Rousey, but in the end, both women ended up succeeding even without the blockbuster fight.