On a weekday edition of the Savage Dog Show, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker indicated that Gina Carano would be making a return to the ring in 2011. This is after A). Carano was horrifically abused by Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos in an August 2009 title fight, and B). nabbed a starring role in the Steven Soderbergh film “Haywire,” scheduled for release in January.
If Carano returns, two things become apparent. For one, the urge to compete in MMA is a far cry from the poverty-as-entrapment motivations of many boxers. For another, both Carano and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson might be working as prototypes for a new kind of athlete/performer -- one who actually competes in between film shoots. (This might have applied to Michael Jordan at one time, but “Space Jam” numbed that possibility -- along with many, many brains.)
That path seems easier for Carano than Jackson for a simple reason: Jackson is constantly being thrown to the wolves in the UFC, whereas Carano is going to have the opportunity for novelty fights in Strikeforce. Scott Coker recognizes a boost to his economy when he sees one, and there’s little point in forcing Cung Le, Herschel Walker, or Carano to walk the plank when everyone seems perfectly happy to see them perform on other levels.I haven’t seen so much as a preview for “Haywire,” and so Carano’s future onscreen doesn’t warrant comment. But apparently she’s good enough for J.J. Abrams, who cast her in his alien-suspense flick “Super 8” scheduled for release next summer. If she needs a method exercise for acting scared, it’s probably best to think of Santos.