Stardom can be a blessing for those who attain it, but for those who get left behind, it’s “Suckville – population: us”. Such was the case with Gina Carano, who blazed a trail through EliteXC and Strikeforce and planted the seed for women’s MMA in the mainstream consciousness. After headlining the first major MMA event to ever have female fighters as a main event, Carano packed up her bags and left for Hollywood (of course, the beating at the hands of Cris Cyborg probably helped push her out the door as well). But now we’ve got a UFC champ in the form of superstar Ronda Rousey, who’ll be headlining UFC 170 on March 22, and who is lining up movie roles like nobody’s business. So like a boyfriend who’s been hurt before, we must ask: how soon until Ronda leaves us?
The comparisons to be drawn between Carano and Rousey are plain as day. Both have played a significant part in the development of the sport, both have been stars in the cage, and the absence of both is something noteworthy by fans and pundits alike. However, the Strikeforce champ and the UFC champ do have their differences – namely, that Rousey is ten times the fighting star Carano was (as evidenced by her status as a pay-per-view draw) and one thousand times the fighter (as evidenced by her ability to slaughter every girl put before her). Therefore, whereas if Carano were to ever return, it would likely be to an Invicta FC card broadcast on the Internet, a return by Rousey after a Hollywood hiatus would mean entire UFC cards shuffled around just to make space for her.
None of this answers any questions about how much longer we get to have Rousey breaking arms in the Octagon. But really, none of us can truly answer that question with any degree of accuracy. Only Rousey knows. We can speculate, though – speculate, and factor in how easy it is to train for a movie role in “Entourage” than it is for a fight, or how much Hollywood stardom is worth compared to being a top-flight combative sports athlete.
What do you think? Will Ronda soon leave us for movies?