Strikeforce's Gina Carano to end hiatus

Updated: February 13, 2011, 8:12 AM ET
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Gina Carano is ready to fight again.

Following an extended hiatus from mixed martial arts, the Strikeforce star and oft-described "face of female MMA" will return to action in late June, the promotion confirmed Saturday.

Carano I think I just need to settle the score with myself. I need to get back in there for me.

-- 28-year-old Gina Carano

Carano has not fought since suffering the lone defeat of her eight-bout career -- a first-round stoppage against Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos -- in August of 2009 that garnered the highest rating for any Strikeforce card on Showtime.

"I think I just need to settle the score with myself," Carano, 28, said during Saturday's Showtime broadcast from the IZOD Center. "I need to get back in there for me."

After falling out of contact for a year, the 145-pound fighter informed Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker two weeks ago of her intention to compete again.

"I knew in her heart she wanted to fight again, so we waited and now she's back," Coker said.

Coker told ESPN.com the fight against a to-be-determined opponent would take place in San Jose, Calif., likely on a card that features a welterweight championship bout between Nick Diaz and Paul Daley. Strikeforce officials will engage in discussions about prospective opponents with representatives for Carano next week, Coker said.

Carano focused on acting during her time away from the cage. She landed the roll of Mallory Kane, a black ops super soldier seeking revenge after being betrayed on a mission, in Steven Soderbergh's "Haywire," which is set for an August release. Carano acted alongside Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum and others.

"I just want to walk away from it knowing that I left it all in there," Carano said. "I left it all in the cage."

Josh Gross covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.

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