From pioneering women’s MMA to blazing a trail in movies, Gina Carano is undeniably one of Hollywood’s most unique rising stars. She has become a symbol of hope in the face of adversity and will undoubtedly continue to inspire her fans as she forges her own path in the entertainment industry.
Carano began her fighting career with Muay Thai then moved on to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), where she competed in Strikeforce and EliteXC. Her popularity soared and eventually lead to her being called the “Face of Women’s MMA.” She was also the fastest-rising search on Google and the third-most-searched person on Yahoo!, as well as ranking 5th on the “Top 10 Influential Women” of 2008 and in 2009, and 16th on Maxim’s Hot 100 list. In December 2020 she was ranked at #2 on the IMDB StarMeter and in early 2021 sat at #1 for several months. Her action figures are incredibly popular and currently, two are made of her: one from “Round 5 World of MMA” which came out with a Gina Carano action figure in its “Champions in the UFC––Series 4,” and another as Cara Dune from The Mandalorian. In October 2009 she was one of the cover athletes for an edition of ESPN’s Body Issue. In August 2009, Carano fought Cris Cyborg in Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg; this was the first time two women headlined a major MMA event, and at the time, was the highest-rated fight in Showtime’s history. Carano compiled a competitive record of 12-1-1 in Mau Thai and a 7-1 in women’s MMA.
Outside the ring, Carano served as a mentor to aspiring fighters in the 2007 Oxygen reality series Fight Girls and performed as “Crush” in the revamped television series American Gladiator. However, her breakout performance in Soderbergh’s film Haywire (2011) saw her holding her own against stars such as Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Bill Paxton, and Antonia Banderas. Carano’s performance and ability to make the fight sequences in Haywire look real earned her a Critics Choice Award Nomination for Best Actress in an action film. This was followed closely by a role in the worldwide hit Fast and Furious 6 (2013), where she acted opposite Dwayne Johnson, furthering her appeal as an action star. This was followed by a slew of roles that increased her notoriety: Heist (2015) in which she co-starred alongside Robert DeNiro, Jeffery Dean Morgan, and Dave Bautista; Deadpool (2016) in which she portrayed “Angel Dust” and acted opposite Ryan Reynolds. The movies would go to grossed over $870 million at the Box Office. After starring in the independent films Daughter of the Wolf (2019) opposite Ricard Dreyfuss and the dark comedy Madness in the Method (2019) with Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, Carano secured a lead role as “Carasynthia ‘Cara’ Dune” in Jon Favreau’s highly reviewed Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian (2019–ongoing) for Disney+. She is currently in the process of producing a movie with the Daily Wire; details to be forthcoming.
Carano was born in Dallas, Texas, to Dana Joy (née Cason) and professional football player Glenn Carano (the Dallas Cowboys and backup quarterback for Roger Stauback). She has two sisters, one older and one younger.
Carano before the weigh-in of her 2009 fight against Cris Cyborg.
Muay Thai Record is 12-1-1 Wins/Lost/Draw. MMA Record is 7-1-0.
Defeated Kaitlin Young on 31 May 2008 to achieve a 6-0-0 MMA record.
Defeated Kelly Kobold on 4 October 2008, to achieve a 7-0-0 record.
Defeated by Cris Cyborg on 15 August 2009 in the inaugural bout for the Strikeforce Women’s Championship. Her current record is 7-1-0.
After achieving a Muay Thai record of 12-1-1, 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 Pestova. She won the fight with a knockout in the first round.
Carano has gained notoriety as a heavy hitter. With the help of electronic monitoring, it was determined that Carano’s punches landed with 650lbs of force, her knees with 550lbs, and her kicks at 800lbs for a combined force of 4,800lbs of force. She landed all 8 blows in 3 seconds.