Gina Carano: A Profile of the Former MMA Fighter and Actress

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Gina Carano is an American actress and former mixed martial artist who has been active in the entertainment industry since 2006. She is best known for her roles in films such as Haywire (2011), Fast & Furious 6 (2013), and Deadpool (2016), as well as her portrayal of Cara Dune on the Disney+ series The Mandalorian (2019-2020). She is also known for her controversial social media posts, which led to her being fired by Lucasfilm in 2021. However, Carano’s career trajectory faced a significant setback due to her controversial social media activity. Over the years, she became known for expressing her views on various political and social issues, often sparking heated debates and drawing criticism from many quarters. In particular, her posts drew widespread condemnation for their perceived insensitivity and offensive nature.

Early life and MMA career

Gina Carano


Gina Carano was born on April 16, 1982, in Dallas County, Texas, as the daughter of Dana Joy Cason and Glenn Carano, a former professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys. She has two sisters, one older and one younger. She graduated from Trinity Christian High School in Las Vegas, where she excelled in basketball, volleyball, and softball. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno for a year and then the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for three years, majoring in psychology.

Carano started her career in the sport of Muay Thai, a form of kickboxing. Her then-boyfriend Kevin Ross, a pro Muay Thai fighter, got her involved. She had a Muay Thai record of 12-1-1 before transitioning to mixed martial arts (MMA). She made her MMA debut in 2006 at World Extreme Fighting, where she defeated Leiticia Pestova in 38 seconds. She then fought at Strikeforce: Triple Threat, where she beat Elaina Maxwell by unanimous decision.

Carano became one of the most popular and successful female MMA fighters, earning the nickname “Conviction” for her determination and confidence. She fought in EliteXC and Strikeforce from 2006 to 2009, compiling a record of 7-1. She was dubbed the “face of women’s MMA” by the media and fans, although she rejected this title. She also appeared on the reality show Fight Girls (2007) as a mentor to aspiring female fighters and on the revival of American Gladiators (2008) as “Crush”, one of the gladiators.

Carano’s most notable fight was against Cris Cyborg at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg on August 15, 2009. It was the first time that two women headlined a major MMA event and it was also the highest-rated fight on Showtime at that time. The fight was for the inaugural Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Championship. Carano lost the fight by TKO at 4:59 of the first round, suffering her first and only professional MMA defeat. She retired from MMA after this fight.

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Acting career

Carano made her acting debut in the direct-to-DVD film Blood and Bone (2009) as Veretta Vendetta, a female fighter. She then landed her first major role as Mallory Kane, a covert operative and former Marine, in Steven Soderbergh’s action thriller Haywire (2011). The film received positive reviews from critics and audiences, who praised Carano’s performance and action skills. She also received a nomination for Best Actress in an Action Movie at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.

Carano continued to pursue acting roles in various films and genres. She co-starred with Dwayne Johnson as Riley Hicks, a DSS agent and former soldier, in Fast & Furious 6 (2013), which was a huge box office success. She also played Angel Dust, a mutant with super strength and durability, in Deadpool (2016), which was based on the Marvel comic book character and also became a blockbuster hit. She also appeared in films such as Heist (2015) with Robert De Niro.

Carano also ventured into television, starring as Cara Dune, a former Rebel shock trooper turned mercenary, on the Disney+ series The Mandalorian (2019-2020). The series is part of the Star Wars franchise and was created by Jon Favreau. Carano received positive reviews for her role and worked with directors such as Taika Waititi, Deborah Chow, and Bryce Dallas Howard. She also voiced her character in the video game Star Wars: Squadrons (2020).

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