Gina Joy Carano, born April 16, 1982, is an American actress, television personality, fitness model and former mixed martial artist. She began her training with straight Muay Thai then moved to competitive MMA, where she competed in Strikeforce and EliteXC. Take a look below for 30 more interesting and awesome facts about Gina Carano.
1. She was featured in ESPN The Magazine as well as Maxim.
2. Her popularity led to her being called the, “face of women’s MMA,” although Carano herself rejected the title. She was also ranked fifth on a list of the Top 10 Influential Women of 2008.
3. In August 2009, Carano fought Cris Cyborg in Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg, which was the first time two women headlined a major MMA event. Cyborg ended up winning the fight.
4. Carano performed as Crush in the revamped 2008 television series American Gladiators.
5. Her film debut was in Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 action movie Haywire, and she has appeared in Fast & Furious 6 and Deadpool.
6. She was born in Dallas, Texas, the daughter of Dana Joy and professional football player Glenn Carano. She has two sisters, one older and one younger.
7. She has said that she has a small amount of Italian ancestry.
8. She graduated from Trinity Christian High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she led the girls’ basketball team to a state title. She also played volleyball and softball.
9. Carano went to the University of Nevada, Reno for a year and then University of Nevada, Las Vegas for three years, majoring in psychology.
10. She has stated that her number one movie star crush is on the late Paul Newman.
11. In April 2012, she received the first Chuck Norris Award for best female action star for her performance in the movie Haywire. The award was presented at the ActionFest Film Festival in Asheville, North Carolina, and it recognized a female star who exhibits, “the attitude, spirit, athleticism and grit of Hollywood legend Chuck Norris.”
12. She’s one of the cover athletes, along with Serena Williams, for the October 19, 2009, edition of ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. Carano and Williams are two of the athletes featured in a book by Dana Rasmussen.
13. She was profiled in a feature story for the ESPN series E:60 and was voted “Hottest Women In America” by Big Biz Magazine in the Spring 2008 issue.
14. On May 13, 2008, Gina Carano was the fastest rising search on Google and third most searched person on Yahoo.
15. After achieving a Muay Thai record of 12-1-1, Carano received an offer form Jamie Levine to participate in the first-ever sanctioned female MMA bout in Nevada with World Extreme Fighting to fight Leticia Persova. She won the fight with a knockout in the first round.
16. Carano served as a mentor to aspiring female fighters in the Oxygen reality series “Fight Girls.”
17. In the movie Haywire, Carano wears a green hoodie embroidered with the same name as her high school alma mater, Trinity.
18. She appeared on the television show Sports Science, where she choked out host John Brenkus. This has led to many fans requesting photos with Gina clenching them in the Rear Naked Choke Hold. With the help of electronic monitoring, it was determined that Gina’s punches landed with 650 pounds of force, her knees with 550 pounds and her kicks at 800 pounds, for a combined force of 4,800 pounds. She landed all 8 blows in 3 seconds.
19. In 2014, Rant Lifestyle ranked her number 29 on their 30 Hottest Women in the World list.
20. Carano appeared in the Fox series Almost Human episode “Unbound,” where she played the part of an XRN combat android named Danica.
21. In July 2013, she and comic book creator Rob Liefeld announced that they were working on a big screen adaption of Liefeld’s Avengelyne, in which Carano would star as a fallen angel who is sent to Earth with a mission to find and protect “the one,” a person who holds the key to saving mankind from demons and other monsters.
22. In September 2012, Carano signed on as the lead in an all-female ensemble action movie described as the female version of The Expendables.
23. In February 2012, Carano was cast in In the Blood, an action thriller movie directed by John Stockwell.
24. She appeared in the video game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 as Natasha, a purchasable hero unit, portraying the Soviet commando in various cut scenes.
25. Carano starred in the 2006 cult movie Ring Girls. Based on true events, Ring Girls is a fast paced story about five American women from Las Vegas who take on the ultimate challenge of fighting the best Muay Thai fighters in the world.
26. Carano’s paternal grandfather was of three quarters Italian descent. Gina’s other ancestry is English, Scottish and smaller amounts of Dutch and German.
27. In December 2012, she was nominated for Best Actress in an Action Film by the Screen Actor’s Guild for her role as Mallory Kane in Haywire.
28. She was ranked number 39 on Maxim’s Hot 100 list for 2014.
29. Round 5 World of MMA came out with a Gina Carano action figure in its Champions of the UFC – Series 4.
30. She is formerly the third best 145 pound female fighter in the world, according to the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings.