Gina Carano

Gina Carano
Gina Carano by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Carano at the 2015 San Diego Comi-Con International
BornGina Joy Carano
(1982-04-16) April 16, 1982 (age 38)
Dallas County, Texas, U.S.
Other namesConviction
Crush
NationalityAmerican
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight143 lb (65 kg; 10.2 st)
DivisionFeatherweight
Reach66 12 in (169 cm)
StyleMuay Thai, Gaidojutsu
Fighting out ofAlbuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.
TeamJackson's MMA
TrainerGreg Jackson
Years active2006–2009 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total8
Wins7
By knockout3
By submission1
By decision3
Losses1
By knockout1
Notable relativesGlenn Carano (father)
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Gina Joy Carano (born April 16, 1982[1]) is an American actress, television personality, fitness model, and former mixed martial artist (MMA). She competed in EliteXC and Strikeforce from 2006 to 2009, where she compiled a 7–1 record.[2] Her popularity led to her being called the "face of women's MMA", although Carano rejected this title.[3] Carano and Cris Cyborg were the first women to headline a major MMA event during their 2009 Strikeforce bout.[4] She retired from competition after her first professional defeat to Cyborg.

Transitioning from the ring to the screen, Carano landed her first major role as the lead of the action film Haywire (2011), which was followed by appearances in the films Fast & Furious 6 (2013) and Deadpool (2016). Carano also portrayed Cara Dune in the first two seasons of the Disney+ space Western series The Mandalorian from 2019 to 2020. Following a series of controversial posts she made to social media, Lucasfilm announced in 2021 that she would not return for subsequent seasons.[5][6][7]

Early life

Carano was born in Dallas County, Texas,[8] and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada,[9] the daughter of Dana Joy Cason and casino executive and former professional football player Glenn Carano.[10][11] She has two sisters, one older and one younger.[9] She was raised by her mother after her parents divorced when Gina was 7.[9][10] She has said that her family celebrate "an Italian festival" every year, though she is of a "small percentage of Italian" descent.[12]

Carano graduated from Trinity Christian High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she led the girls' basketball team to a state title. She also played volleyball and softball.[13] She attended the University of Nevada, Reno for a year and then University of Nevada, Las Vegas for three years, majoring in psychology.[14][15]

Mixed martial arts career

Carano started her career in the sport of Muay Thai. Her then-boyfriend Kevin Ross, a pro Muay Thai fighter, got her involved.[16] After achieving a Muay Thai record of 12–1–1,[17] Carano received an offer from Jamie Levine to participate in the first-ever sanctioned female MMA bout in Nevada with World Extreme Fighting to fight Leiticia Pestovа (a bout Carano won in 38 seconds). She was invited to the World Pro Fighting show in Las Vegas to fight Rosi Sexton.[18] Carano won the fight by knocking out Sexton late in the second round.

Carano faced Elaina Maxwell at Strikeforce: Triple Threat on December 8, 2006. She won the fight via unanimous decision.[19] Carano proved critics wrong when she defeated Maxwell for the second time; the first victory coming in a Muay Thai bout. The fight was the first female fight in Strikeforce.

She fought on the February 10, 2007 Showtime EliteXC card, defeating Julie Kedzie via unanimous decision in what was called the "Fight of the Night."[20] The fight was the first televised female fight on Showtime.

Her scheduled bout against Jan Finney at the EliteXC/K-1 Dynamite!! USA event on June 2, 2007, was canceled due to illness. The Fight Network and other news outlets reported that she was rushed to the hospital by ambulance for dehydration while attending a World Extreme Cagefighting event as a spectator.[21]

Carano fought on the September 15, 2007 Showtime EliteXC card, where she defeated Tonya Evinger via rear-naked choke for her first career win by submission.[22] Carano impressed critics by holding her own on the ground before submitting Evinger late in the first round.

Carano defeated former HOOKnSHOOT Champion Kaitlin Young at EliteXC: Primetime on May 31, 2008.[23] A day before the fight, Carano failed to make weight for her fight after weighing in at 144.5 pounds (65.5 kg). Although most MMA organizations set weight classes at 135 lb (61 kg) (bantamweight) and 145 lb (66 kg) (featherweight), EliteXC opted to create a women's weight class at 140 pounds (64 kg).[24] Carano agreed to forfeit 12.5% of her "show" purse to Young, and the fight remained on the card.[25]

Leading up to her fight against Kelly Kobold, there was much controversy over whether or not Carano would make weight for the fight, as she had fought only once in the past year and had failed to make weight. Carano assured critics that she would be able to make weight since she had hired a nutritionist to help with her dieting. At the weigh-in for the Kobold fight on October 3, 2008, Carano weighed in at 142.75 pounds (64.75 kg) on her first attempt.[26] After removing her clothing, a towel-covered Carano weighed in a second time at 142.5 pounds (64.6 kg).[27] The towel was removed,[28] and on her third attempt, Carano weighed 141 pounds (64 kg)[29] and successfully made weight.

Early on, Kobold was intent on pressing Carano in the clinch, while working for the takedown throughout the fight. Kobold managed a takedown in the second round, but the round ended before she could take meaningful advantage of it. Carano worked her opportunities by hitting Kobold at every turn whenever the fighters separated while opening a huge gash on the inside of her opponent's eyebrow in the first round.[30] At the end of the third round, Carano looked to finish the fight as she unloaded a head kick that landed flush on Kobold's chin, but Kobold remained on her feet and the bout came to a close.[31] Carano won by unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 29–28).[32]

Strikeforce Women's Lightweight Championship bout

Carano before the weigh-in of her 2009 fight against Cris Cyborg.

After Strikeforce purchased the assets of ProElite, Carano, along with other fighters within the defunct promotion, became contractually linked with Strikeforce after many months of a stalemate regarding their free agent status.[33]

It was announced at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields that Carano's fight against Cris Cyborg would take place on August 15, 2009, at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg. Strikeforce created their first Women's Championship for the bout.

Though the 145-pound division is most commonly referred to as featherweight, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated that the title would be known as the Strikeforce Women's Lightweight Championship.[34] The title was later renamed the Strikeforce Women's Middleweight Championship.[35]

Carano lost the fight against Cyborg by TKO at 4:59 in the first round, giving her first-ever loss in her professional MMA career.[36]

Carano has not fought since August 2009 and has not been scheduled for any upcoming events.[37] Carano is still under contract with the UFC through her old Strikeforce contract and has four fights remaining on that contract.[38]

In November 2010, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated he was hopeful that she would return in 2011.[39] Carano's return was formally announced in February 2011,[40] and Strikeforce announced at its April 9, 2011, event in San Diego that Carano would make her return against Sarah D'Alelio on June 18, during the Overeem vs. Werdum Strikeforce event in Dallas. This bout would have been held by Zuffa, who have been detractors of women's MMA in the past. Critics[who?] asserted that the reason for the turnaround was Carano's marketability.[41][42]

However, the fight did not take place. Initially, Strikeforce announced Carano failed her pre-fight medical examination and the fight was pulled from the card.[43] Later, it became public that Carano was medically cleared by the Athletic Commission but was removed from the card for other reasons.[citation needed]

In April 2014, during an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show Carano said she was considering a return to MMA.[44] In September 2014, Dana White of the UFC said contract negotiations with Carano had stalled.[45] During her appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience 690 podcast, Ronda Rousey said a fight between Gina Carano and her had been planned for December 2014, but never materialized.[46]

Television and film career

Carano starred in the 2005 cult film Ring Girls.[47] Based on true events, Ring Girls is a fast-paced story about five American women from Las Vegas who take on the ultimate challenge of fighting the best Muay Thai fighters in the world.[48]

Along with Lisa King, Carano served as a mentor to aspiring fighters in the 2007 Oxygen reality series Fight Girls. She appeared as "Crush" on the NBC show American Gladiators, in which she starred in the workout video of the show along with Monica Carlson (Jet), Jennifer Widerstrom (Phoenix), Michael O'Hearn (Titan), Tanoai Reed (Toa) and Don "Hollywood" Yates (Wolf). The DVD was released on December 16, 2008.

She appeared in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 as Natasha,[49] a purchasable hero unit, portraying the Soviet sniper/commando in various cut scenes. She is featured in the Michael Jai White film Blood and Bone[50] (2009).[51]

In September 2009, Carano landed the leading role in the spy thriller movie Haywire (2011), directed by Steven Soderbergh.[52][53][54] Christy Lemire of the Associated Press stated: "[Carano's] dialogue delivery may seem a bit stiff — and she has acknowledged that Soderbergh made some tweaks to her voice in post-production — but she has tremendous presence: an intriguing mix of muscular power and eye-catching femininity."[55] She describes her knockout fight with co-star Michael Fassbender:

We were brutal to each other. He was slamming me into the wall. He slammed my head so hard, I lost it for a second — I went white. And at one point, our knees clashed, [and] he got a limp.[56]

In February 2012, Carano was cast in In the Blood (2014), an action thriller directed by John Stockwell. The film is set in motion when a husband disappears while vacationing in the Caribbean with his wife, played by Carano. The grieving wife passionately and recklessly pursues the men whom she believes kidnapped and killed him. Stockwell stated, "This role will showcase not only Gina's fighting skills but also her acting abilities as her character struggles to [rein] in her violent past."[57]

In September 2012, Carano signed on as the lead in an all-female ensemble action film described as the female version of The Expendables. Producer Adi Shankar said, "I don't know how I'm supposed to make a movie that is supposed to be the female version of The Expendables without Gina Carano in it. It would be like making Twix without caramel or Jamba Juice without Jamba."[58]

Carano co-starred in Fast & Furious 6 (2013) as a member of Special Agent Luke Hobbs' (Dwayne Johnson) Diplomatic Security Service team.[59] Critics were united in their praise of Carano's performance. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Gina Carano is BIG fun to watch. [She] is still a bit stilted with her line readings, but her two fight scenes with Michelle Rodriguez are just epic."[60] Matt Goldberg of Collider.com wrote that the scene would "create a lot of new Gina Carano fans."[61]

In July 2013, she and comic book creator Rob Liefeld announced they were working on a big-screen adaptation of Liefied's Avengelyne in which Carano would star as a fallen angel, who is sent to Earth with a mission to find and protect 'the one', a person who holds the key to saving mankind from demons and other monsters.[62]

Carano appeared in the 2013–2014 Fox series Almost Human episode "Unbound", where she played the part of an XRN combat android named Danica.

She co-starred in the 2015 film Extraction, and she played Angel Dust in the 2016 film Deadpool.[63]

In December 2018, she was announced as part of the cast of The Mandalorian, Lucasfilm's first live-action Star Wars television series.[64] She portrayed the character Cara Dune with a first appearance in the fourth episode of the first season titled "Chapter 4: Sanctuary".[65] Carano initially believed she would be playing the role of a female Wookiee, and was surprised to "find that [she] was one of the few people that you were actually going to see her face."[66] She played the role in seasons 1 and 2.[7]

On February 12, 2021, two days after Carano was ousted from Lucasfilm for controversial social media posts, she revealed that she would be undertaking a new film project with conservative media company The Daily Wire.[67]

Accolades

Carano was profiled in a feature story for the ESPN series E:60. She was voted "Hottest Woman In America" by Big Biz Magazine in the Spring 2008 issue.[68] On May 13, 2008, "Gina Carano" was the fastest-rising search on Google and third-most-searched person on Yahoo![11][69] She was also ranked as no. 5 on the "Top Ten Influential Women of 2008" list on Yahoo![70]

In May 2009, Carano was ranked no. 16 in Maxim's Hot 100 list. She is one of the cover athletes along with Serena Williams[71] for the October 19, 2009 edition of ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue.

In addition to being a nominee for the 2013 Critics Choice Awards for best actress in an action movie for Haywire,[72] Carano was a top 10 most-searched athlete on Yahoo! that year.[73]

Awards

  • 2012 AOCA / Awakening Outstanding Contribution Award[74]
  • 2012 ActionFest Film Festival, Chick Norris Award for Best Female Action Star[75]

Social media and political views

According to Vox, Carano has a history of expressing conservative political views.[76] She has faced criticism for her views on social media. In August 2020, Carano was pressured by Twitter users to support the Black Lives Matter movement.[77] She called her critics "cowards and bullies"[77] while also "liking" posts that disparaged Black Lives Matter,[5][78] which led some fans to accuse her of racism.[77] Carano later added "beep/bop/boop" to her Twitter profile in a way that was seen as mocking the use of preferred gender pronouns by transgender people, leading to accusations of transphobia.[77][79][80] According to Vanity Fair, Carano's "defiant" response to critics generated praise from conservative and right-wing publications such as Breitbart.[77] She later said fellow Mandalorian actor Pedro Pascal "helped [her] understand" the meaning behind preferred pronouns.[5][81][82]

On social media, Carano ridiculed COVID-19 mask mandates, mocked postal voting in the United States, and falsely suggested the existence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 United States presidential election.[5][7] In November 2020, Carano opened an account on the social media platform Parler, which is popular with right-wing figures. In response, critics began urging her removal from The Mandalorian cast, some using the hashtag #FireGinaCarano.[77][83][80] Conservative fans expressed support for Carano,[77] while others decried what they saw as cancel culture in the push to fire Carano from the show.[83]

The hashtag #FireGinaCarano resurfaced in February 2021 after Carano shared an Instagram post[a] that compared "hating someone for their political views" to the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust,[81][6][84] and included an image taken during the Lviv pogroms.[85] Many critics interpreted the post as comparing American conservatives to Jews in Nazi Germany.[5][7][86] Shortly afterward, Lucasfilm stated that Carano was no longer employed by them and would not appear in any future Star Wars projects, citing her social media posts which they said "denigrat[ed] people based on their cultural and religious identities".[5][6][81] That same day, Carano was dropped by United Talent Agency.[7][87][88]

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
8 matches 7 wins 1 loss
By knockout 3 1
By submission 1 0
By decision 3 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 7–1 Cris Cyborg TKO (punches) Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg August 15, 2009 1 4:59 San Jose, California, United States For the inaugural Strikeforce Women's Featherweight Championship.
Win 7–0 Kelly Kobold Decision (unanimous) EliteXC: Heat October 4, 2008 3 3:00 Sunrise, Florida, United States
Win 6–0 Kaitlin Young TKO (doctor stoppage) EliteXC: Primetime May 31, 2008 2 3:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 5–0 Tonya Evinger Submission (rear-naked choke) EliteXC: Uprising September 15, 2007 1 2:53 Oahu, Hawaii, United States Catchweight bout (141 lbs).
Win 4–0 Julie Kedzie Decision (unanimous) EliteXC: Destiny February 10, 2007 3 3:00 Southaven, Mississippi, United States Catchweight bout (141 lbs).
Win 3–0 Elaina Maxwell Decision (unanimous) Strikeforce: Triple Threat December 8, 2006 3 2:00 San Jose, California, United States Featherweight debut.
Win 2–0 Rosi Sexton KO (punch) World Pro Fighting Championships 1 September 15, 2006 2 4:55 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Catchweight bout (138 lbs).
Win 1–0 Leiticia Pestova KO (punches and elbows) World Extreme Fighting June 10, 2006 1 0:38 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Bantamweight debut.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
2009 Blood and Bone Veretta Vendetta Direct-to-video
2011 Haywire Mallory Kane
2013 Fast & Furious 6 Riley Hicks
2014 In the Blood Ava Direct-to-video
2015 Heist Officer Kris Bauhaus Direct-to-video
2015 Extraction Victoria Direct-to-video
2016 Deadpool Angel Dust
2016 Kickboxer: Vengeance Marcia Direct-to-video
2018 Scorched Earth Atticus Gage Direct-to-video
2019 Madness in the Method Carrie
2019 Daughter of the Wolf Clair Hamilton

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Fight Girls Herself 7 episodes
2008 American Gladiators Crush 16 episodes
2014 Almost Human Danica Episode: "Unbound"
2019–2020 The Mandalorian Carasynthia "Cara" Dune 7 episodes

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2008 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Natasha Volkova
2013 Fast & Furious: Showdown Riley Hicks Voice role

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The full post read:
    "Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors...even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?"[6]

References

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Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-02-20 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=9140525