Scott Coker believes Gina Carano will return to action in 2011

Gina Carano in her last MMA bout. Photo by Dave Mandel / Sherdog

Remember this young lady? Sure you do. That is Miss Gina Carano (7-1), the former “face of women’s MMA” who decided to go on MMA hiatus after suffering her very first professional loss in Aug. 2009 against Cris “Cyborg” Santos (10-1).

Most of Carano’s fans have probably been waiting to hear her say something similar to what Brock Lesnar said after losing his title to Cain Velasquez last week when Joe Rogan asked him if he was going to learn from the loss and come back stronger.

“That’s what a champion does right?” said Lesnar.

Now whether Lesnar actually does it, we do not know yet, but at least he said it. As of yet, Carano has not given her fans any sort of hope of a return.

It would be really sad if she went out like that and never returned to MMA, never tried to improve upon her shortcomings, all because of one loss (albeit a vicious beatdown).

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was on Sherdog’s Savage Dog Show Friday and he feels that Carano is the type of competitor who would not let her MMA career end on that note. When asked if she will return in 2011, Coker said,

“I believe so. … I know Gina is not going to go out the way that it went down. Her whole thing now is just timing and scheduling. She’s got the movie coming out in April, I believe, and she’s got some more stuff on her plate. … I know, just like Cung [Le] or other people that have [been] part of the film business … they’re still a fighter by heart, believe me, and they have that desire to compete. I think Gina will be the same. It’s just a matter of time. I believe she will fight in 2011.”

Carano has a starring role in Steven Soderbergh’s soon-to-be-released film “Haywire” (formerly called “Knockout”). It’s an action/thriller in which Carano plays a black ops soldier named Malory Kane. It’s an all-star cast that includes Ewan MacGregor and Michael Douglas among others.

The bad thing is, the longer Carano stays out of the MMA game, the harder it will be to come back at an elite level. While she is off doing movies, these other women continue to train and get better.

And whether Coker genuinely is on to something here and Carano truly has that competitive drive that will cause her to return to fighting, or whether it’s just wishful thinking and Coker is hoping Strikeforce’s all-time biggest superstar will come back, remains to be seen.

Maybe she’s scared. Maybe she’s satisfied and comfortable in her new life and feels she has nothing left to prove. One thing is for sure though, now that Fedor Emelianenko has been dethroned and lost that invincible aura, Strikeforce needs all the star power they can get. Carano would fit the bill perfectly.