Gina Carano

Gina Carano is a former professional MMA fighter, fitness model, and TV personality from the USA. She’s been on the TV screens since 2006, making her first appearance in cult film Ring Girls. Throughout the years, she’s appeared in movie hits such as Fast & Furious 6, Deadpool, and Haywire.

Growing up, Gina’s main passions were competitive sports. During high school, she excelled as a basketball player, leading her team to an overall state title. This thirst for competitiveness only grew stronger over the years, leading Gina to pursue a career in the ring.

Starting as a promising Muay Thai fighter, Gina eventually made her switch to MMA after achieving an impressive 12-1-1 record in Muay Thai. Between 2006 and 2009, Gina took part in eight MMA matches, winning seven of them.

With her success in the ring, and outside of it, Gina has established herself as one of the iconic MMA fighters and actresses in America.

This is her story:


 

Gina Carano standing in a boxing stance looking at her opponent during a press-conference

“It’s a very big deal to me to remain the same person, because I know all of this is going to be gone one day, and I’m just going to have myself.”

Athlete Statistics

Full Name: Gina Joy Carano
WeightHeightAgeDate of Birth
135 - 145lbs (61.2 - 65.8kg)5'8" (172.5cm)37April 16, 1982
NationalityProfessionEra
AmericanActress, Fitness Model, MMA Fighter2010, 2000
Weight135 - 145lbs (61.2 - 65.8kg)
Height5'8" (172.5cm)
Age37
Date of BirthApril 16, 1982
NationalityAmerican
ProfessionActress, Fitness Model, MMA Fighter
Era2010, 2000


 

Gina Carano in one of her movie roles holding a rifle in her arms looking fit and lean

“On ‘American Gladiators,’ I got to pummel a lot of people off a pyramid with a giant Q-tip. It was so much fun to wrestle people with no risk of getting knocked out or choked out.”

Accomplishments

MMA History

2006

  • June 10, World Extreme Fighting, Victory against Leiticia Pestova
  • September 15, World Pro Fighting Championships 1, Victory against Rosi Sexton
  • December 8, Strikeforce: Triple Threat, Victory against Elaina Maxwell

2007

  • February 10, EliteXC: Destiny, Victory against Julie Kedzie
  • September 15, Elite XC: Uprising, Victory against Tonya Evinger

2008

  • May 31, EliteXC: Primetime, Victory against Kaitlin Young
  • October 4, EliteXC: Heat, Victory against Kelly Kobold

2009

  • August 15, Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg, Loss against Cris Cyborg

Professional career record: 7-1

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
2007 Fight Girls Mentor TV series; regular role
2008 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Natasha Volkova Videogame
2009 Blood and Bone Veretta Vendetta Direct-to-video film
2011 Haywire Mallory Kane Film
2013 Fast & Furious 6 Riley Hicks Film
2013 Fast & Furious: Showdown Riley Hicks Video game; voice role
2014 In the Blood Ava Direct-to-video film
2014 Almost Human XRN “Danica” TV series; episode: “Unbound”
2015 Heist Officer Kris Bajos Direct-to-video film
2015 Extraction Victoria Direct-to-video film
2016 Deadpool Angel Dust Film
2016 Kickboxer: Vengeance Marcia Direct-to-video film
TBA Madness in the Method Carrie Film; filming
2018 Scorched Earth Atticus Gage Film; direct-to-video

Career Accolades and Awards

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

 

Gina Carano showcasing her curvy glutes in a photo

“There are certain things that I always dreamed of, like fighting in the UFC. There’s just certain things that I feel like haven’t been accomplished there. There’s such great women coming up in the sport; seems like a wonderful time to be in women’s MMA.”

Biography

Gina’s Background

Gina Carano was born and raised in Dallas, a cultural center of Texas. She has a mother Dana Joy (née Cason) and father Glenn Carano who was a professional American footballer in his youth. Alongside her parents, Gina also has one older and one younger sister.

Growing up, Gina was raised by her mother after her parents had divorced. She attended a high school in Las Vegas, where she was the captain of her girls’ basketball team.

She was highly skilled in basketball, leading her team to a state title during high school. Alongside basketball, Gina also played softball and volleyball.

Pursuing Academics

As her high school years came to an end, Gina turned her focus on academics.

She went on to enroll at the University of Nevada Reno, before transferring to the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she graduated in psychology.


 

Gina Carano when she was a little child

Gina Carano when she was a child.


Muay Thai Career

Following her graduation, Gina began to take a keen interest in combat sports.

Influenced by her then-boyfriend who was a professional Muay Thai fighter, Gina decided to start a career in this sport herself.

Although it was short-lived, Gina’s career in Muay Thai was extremely successful. During this period, she achieved a 12-1-1 record in the sport.

Moving on to MMA

Gina’s awesome performances in Muay Thai gave her a lot of exposure in the media. As a result, she received an offer to take part in a sanctioned female MMA match in Nevada. Her opponent would be Leticia Pestova.

Thrilled by the opportunity, Gina accepted the offer and started preparing for her first-ever MMA bout. After a few months of preparations, the two opponents stepped into the ring, with Gina coming out victorious.

After beating Leticia Pestova, Gina earned the invitation to a new MMA match. This time, it was the World Pro Fighting Contest against Rosi Sexton. Ultimately, Gina beat Rosi via a knockout during the second round.

“My first fight. I fought a girl that was a little bit heavier, a little bit more experienced and I was petrified because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. And I did really well against her and nobody believed it was my first fight.”


 

Gina Carano posing in a photo shoot, standing in a boxing stance


Straight Wins

On December 8th, 2006, Gina fought her next opponent, Elaina Maxwell. The two opponents already had a history between them – both Gina and Elaina already fought in a Muay Thai match, where Gina won.

There were some critics who claimed that Gina wouldn’t be able to repeat her success in an MMA match. However, she proved them all wrong. She once again defeated Elaina, after a unanimous decision by the judges.

Several months later, Gina fought her next opponent, Julie Kedzie. Gina was victorious once again, taking home her fourth consecutive win.

Health Problems Resulting in a Postponed Fight

Following her victory, Gina was supposed to fight her next opponent on June 2nd the same year.

However, the event was canceled due to Gina’s health problems at the time.

Ultimately, the fight took place three months later, where Gina defeated Tony Evinger for her fifth straight win.


 

Gina Carano during a MMA fight.

Gina Carano during an MMA match.


Later Fights and Retirement from MMA

Throughout 2008 and 2009, Gina took part in three MMA fights.

On May 31, 2008, she defeated Kaitlin Young, a former “HOOKnSHOOT” Champion. Several months later, she won against Kelly Kobold in the EliteXC: Heat match.

Gina’s last MMA fight came on August 15, 2009. She fought against Cris Cyborg and lost via TKO during the first round, resulting in her first ever loss in MMA.

Ever since then, Gina hasn’t fought in MMA, although her contract with UFC is still valid to this day. Ultimately, her 7-1 career record has seen her become one of the most iconic female MMA fighters in the world.


 

Gina Carano standing in a boxing stance looking directly at the camera


Acting Career

Gina’s acting career began while she was still involved in MMA. Her first movie appearance came in 2006, in a cult film Ring Girls. From there, she started appearing in reality TV series, shows, movies, and even video games.

Some of her more famous movies and TV show appearances included Fight Girls, American Gladiators, Haywire, Deadpool, and Fast & Furious 6.

She’s also known for portraying Natasha, a buyable hero unit in the video game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3.

Awards and Accolades

In 2008, Gina was voted by Big Biz Magazine as “Hottest Woman in America.” During this period, her name was one of the most popular search terms on the internet.

She was also a cover model for a number of fitness magazines, featuring alongside the likes of Serena Williams and other professional athletes.

In April 2012, Gina earned the Best Female Action Star Award. A year later, she was nominated for the best actress in an action thriller movie Haywire – wowing everyone with her awesome performance in the movie.


 

Gina Carano posing for a photo in her MMA outfit looking fit and strong

“I find that whoever you are as a person is how you’re gonna fight, and every basic instinct kind of comes out at that moment.”

Training

Staying in Shape for Movies

Gina’s training routine is extremely intense. In order to stay fit for her movie roles, she trains up to two times per day, every day of the week.

She combines different training techniques, including Muay-Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, treadmill running, and weight training to stay strong and lean year-round.


 

Gina Carano stretching her lean and fit leg muscles


Insane Haywire Workouts

Here’s Gina talking about her training for her role in Haywire; “The training for the movie was actually incredibly intense. I’d do stunt training from 7am-11am, then gun training and Secret Service training.

Since fighting brings your body forward so much, I also had to work a lot with a trainer on my back muscles and my butt to straighten me out.” – Gina Carano


 

Gina Carano training on the floor looking fit and lean


Training for MMA Matches

When she was still a professional MMA fighter, Gina followed an extremely intense workout routine. She trained for over two hours every day, practicing jumping rope, shadow boxing, and other forms of exercise to stay strong, agile, and fast.

As Gina said; “If I’m training for a fight I wake up in the morning and do cardio to warm up, like running on the treadmill or jumping rope, then shadow box for about 15 minutes, then do about two hours of sparring and technique. I repeat the same thing again at night.”


 

gina carano standing in a ring

“A lot of people enjoyed the film ‘Haywire’ and a lot of people have mixed feelings on it but regardless, a lot of people have said really wonderful things about it being my first experience, that the fighting they absolutely enjoyed. So I think I’ve gotten a lot more fans, actually.”

Nutrition

Staying Lean for Movies

Gina has tried numerous diets over the course of her career. The diet that has worked best for her is the one where she eats mostly healthy foods, with an occasional ‘cheat meal’ here and there.

In a nutshell, Gina’s diet is all about balance. In her own words;“sometimes you have to cheat and eat some pasta you know? When you start putting too many rules on something you get a bit anal about it and it’s counterproductive.”


 

Gina Carano doing a high kick in a photo shoot

Idols and Influences

When she first became involved in Muay Thai, Gina was inspired by her then-boyfriend who was a professional Muay Thai fighter.

He was one of the people who influenced Gina to start a career in combat sports. Which eventually led her to achieve an impressive score of 12-1-1 in Muay Thai, and 7-1 in MMA.


 

Gina Carano standing by a boxing bag wearing gloves, covering her shirtless body with her arms


 

Gina Carano standing on a red carpet in a white dress looking fit and healthy

“Fighting is very physical and extreme and you’re very vulnerable. It’s a very mental type of thing.”

What we can learn from Gina Carano

Gina Carano has always been interested in sports. From basketball, volleyball, softball, and the main passion in her life, MMA. She’s driven by her constant thirst for improvement, year upon year.

Although she’s now more focused on her acting career, Gina has left a permanent mark as one of the great female MMA fighters in America.

With the same ambition and drive to succeed, you too can manifest your dreams into reality, whatever they might be.

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3 comments

  1. Raj.1

    March 21, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    FYI: You guys are aware that photo of her above the “Nutrition” portion of her profile isn’t her…someone grossly photoshopped her head onto another photo.

    1. Greatest Physiques

      March 21, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Thanks Raj! That was a great spot! It’s now been updated. Cheers!

  2. Glenn C.

    June 27, 2018 at 1:29 am

    I just watched Gina in the 2018 movie “Scorched Earth”, and she is a lot thicker than used to be. As she approaches 40, she is probably pushing 200 pounds.

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