UFC President Dana White On Meeting Gina Carano, Rich Franklin, Dominick Cruz Getting Title Shot
Of note, the UFC boss talked about the possible return of former female star Gina Carano, a timetable for the heavyweight title fight between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum and when we might see former UFC champion Dominick Cruz back in action - and who he might fight.
Carano, who left MMA after a 2009 loss to Cris "Cyborg" Justino in Strikeforce, met with White recently and the two sides seemed to hit it off. In fact, White had some kind words for the fighter, who has spent the last five years in Hollywood filming television and movie roles.
"I don't know if I've ever used this word to descirbe a person, but (Carano) is one of the most charming human beings I've ever met," White said. "I'm not talking about hot or beautiful. To listen to what she has to say about fighting, it's pretty awesome. I'd never talked to her before."
White also confirmed that Zuffa still holds her Strikeforce fight contract, but a new deal would be worked out before Carano ever steps foot inside the Octagon. That contract expires in a couple of months.
"I feel like it's going to happen, but we'll see," he said, about a deal. "Crazier (expletive) has happened, but she's not gonna fight on her Strikeforce deal."
As for a potential opponent, White re-affirmed that UFC female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is on board with Carano stepping right to the front of the line and fighting for the title. Rousey is scheduled to meet Alexis Davis in July at UFC 175.
"Ronda wants it really bad," he said. "Ronda loves Gina. She has tons of respect for her."
- Former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin is headed overseas again, but this time it's for an executive job. Franklin is going to talk with ONE FC, the main promotion in Asia, about a vice president role within chain of command. White made it clear that the UFC has no issues with this, and still would make a fight work if "Ace" wanted to compete again.
"There is nothing wrong if you come and ask," White said, about fighters leaving to work with other promotions. "It's the sneaky guys who lie to your face."
Franklin hasn't fought since a 2012 knockout loss to Cung Le in China. He has split his last 10 Octagon appearances, going 5-5, including wins over Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva and Matt Hamill.
"I don't know (if Franklin will fight again)," White said. "If he came back and wanted to fight, he's still under contract. He hasn't officially retired, but Rich is out there making moves and we're cool with it."
- Dominick Cruz is approaching three years away from fighting this coming October after back-to-back knee surgeries and a more recent groin injury. Cruz was stripped of the UFC bantamweight title earlier this year.
As for his potential return to action, White hasn't heard from "The Dominator." Asked if he could step right in and challenge for the belt he previously held, White wasn't too excited about the thought.
"I've heard nothing from Dominick," he said. "I don't think after this much of a layoff, we would throw him in there for (a title) fight, unless he wants it. He was the champion, and if he wants to come right back and fight (Renan Barao), we would do it."
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