Gina Joy Carano was born in Dallas, Texas, USA on 16 April 1982. She is an actor, fitness guru, and a former mixed martial artist. She is considered to be one of the best female fighters in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) history, being dubbed as the “Face of Women’s MMA”.
So how rich is Carano? She has an estimated net worth of $4 million, much of her wealth gained from being one of the highest paid female martial artists, as well as from her recent acting career.
Gina Carano Net Worth $4 Million
Carano is the daughter of former football quarterback Glenn Thomas Carano and Dana Joy née Cason, and the second of three sisters, named Casey and Christie. She has an Italian descent along with English, Scottish, Dutch, and German roots. Although her parents divorced when she was young, her father remained very much a part of her life. She was an athlete throughout her education, playing volleyball, softball, and basketball at Trinity Christian High School. She went to college at the University of Nevada, Reno and later transferred to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she was offered scholarships both for softball and basketball. She took up psychology but later dropped out to help her sister get through a crisis. She then started her career in Muay Thai through her then-boyfriend, Kevin Ross, who is a professional Muay Thai fighter. She held a record of 12 wins, one loss, and one draw and became the first American woman to win a title in Thailand. Her net worth had started well.
Gina then entered the world of MMA, where she won her first fight against Leiticia Pestova, in the first-ever sanctioned female MMA bout in Nevada. Due to her pretty face, she wasn’t taken seriously and was accused of using her sex appeal to fuel her career. However, despite criticisms, she knocked down veteran fighter Rosi Sexton in the second round and claimed victory against Elaina Maxwell via unanimous decision. She quickly rose to fame, winning numerous fights including the televised fight against Julie Kedzie, and gained the adoration of men and women alike. She remained undefeated until her fight against Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos in the first Women’s Championship where she lost by a Technical Knock Out. However, it was later announced that Santos tested positive for steroids, shedding doubts on the legitimacy of her wins, including her fight with Carano. After her disappointing loss, Carano left MMA with a record of seven wins and one loss and ranking as the third best female fighter in the world according to the Unified Women’s MMA Rankings. Her net worth was well established.
Aside from her impressive MMA record, Carano also has a lot of acting credits under her belt. In 2006, she made her acting debut in the film “Ring Girls”, and then appeared in the reality series “Fight Girls” as a mentor to aspiring female fighters, as well as the shows “American Gladiators” and “Almost Human”. Gina appeared in the video game “Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3” as Natasha as well as the film “Blood and Bone” in 2009.
Also on the big screen, Gina starred in the spy thriller movie “Haywire” along with stars Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Ewan McGregor, and Antonio Banderas in 2011. Her other movies include “Haywire”, “Fast & Furious 6”, “In the Blood”, and her latest film “Deadpool”. All contributed to her growing net worth.
In addition, Gina Carano was featured on the cover of “Playboy” and “ESPN The Magazine‘s Body Issue”, as well as being nominated for Best Actress in an Action Film by the Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG), and became the first ever recipient of the Chuck Norris Award for Best Female Action Star for her role in “Haywire”. Her net worth is still growing.
In her personal life, Carano’s dating includes fellow fighters Kevin Ross and Kit Hope as well as “Superman” actor Henry Cavill. However, she remains, officially, single.
Her paternal grandfather was of three quarters Italian descent. Gina's other ancestry is English, Scottish, and smaller amounts of Dutch and German.
In 2014 Rant Lifestyle ranked her at #29 on their "30 Hottest Women in the World" list.
Ranked #39 on Maxim's Hot 100 for 2014.
In December 2012 she was nominated for Best Actress in an Action Film by the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) for her role as Mallory Kane in "Haywire".
She appeared on the television show "Sport 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 lbs. of force, her knees with 550 lbs. and her kicks at 800 lbs. for a combined force of 4,800 lbs. She landed all 8 blows in 3 seconds.
She is literally a living doll. "Round 5 World of MMA" came out with a Gina Carano action figure in its "Champions of the UFC - Series 4".
In the movie "Haywire", Gina sports a green hoodie embroidered with the same name as her high school alma mater - Trinity.
She has been referred to as "The Face of Women's MMA" (Mixed Martial Arts).
She is formerly the third best 145 lb (66 kg) female fighter in the world, according to the Unified Women's MMA Rankings.
Carano served as a mentor to aspiring female fighters in the Oxygen reality series "Fight Girls".
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 started her career in the sport of Muay Thai. She credits ex-boyfriend Kevin Ross, a pro Muay Thai fighter, for getting her involved.
She was profiled in a feature story for the ESPN series E:60 and was voted "Hottest Woman In America" by Big Biz Magazine in the Spring 2008 issue. On May 13, 2008, "Gina Carano" was the fastest-rising search on Google and third most searched person on Yahoo!.
She was ranked as #5 on the "Top Ten Influential Women of 2008" list on Yahoo!.
In May 2009, Carano was ranked #16 in Maxim's Hot 100 list.
She is 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.
In April of 2012 received the first Chuck Norris Award for best female action star for her performance in the film "Haywire". The award was presented at the ActionFest Film Festival in Asheville, N.C. and recognizes a female star who exhibits "the attitude, spirit, athleticism and grit of Hollywood legend Chuck Norris." Carano called the award, "an incredible honor.".
Her number one movie star crush is on the late Paul Newman.
Defeated by Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos on August 15, 2009 in the inaugural bout for the Strikeforce Women's Championship. Her current record is 7-1-0.
Defeated Kelly Kobold October 4, 2008 to achieve a 7-0-0 record.
Defeated Kaitlin Young on May 31st, 2008 to achieve a 6-0-0 MMA record.
Muay Thai Record is 12-1-1 Wins/Lost/Draw. MMA Record is 7-1-0.
When I meet people I don't see the same person that other people see. I see past that. That's why I've been good at fighting because the girls don't intimidate me. I kind of see through and see who they are. And it's also hindered me too because... I see who they are. If they're a nice person, I have problems.
[In 2007 on Dana White's refusal to allow women into the UFC] We are doing what we want to and there are plenty of other promotions that are up and coming and even that haven't popped up yet that we're going to be able to shine in. Whatever happens, happens. He'll catch up eventually, I'm sure. [Five years later, in August of 2012, the UFC signs Ronda Rousey as its first female fighter]
I'd rather have a career that was short and meaningful than a career that was long and full of bullshit.
[on her early "Fight Club" like bouts] I walked up in a gym once and I saw this dude weighing-in on the scale, and it was like a six-foot, something dude. And I was like, "Oh shit! Whoever has to fight that person's in trouble." And then she turned around... and I was like, "Oh no. Why do I have to fight this girl?" And then we started fighting. I punched her twice and hit her twice, and the girl didn't say anything. She just got out of the ring, walked straight out of the gym. Her corner was looking at me like... "What the hell just happened?" She just walked out of the gym and left. That's the last time I've ever seen that girl on the circuit.
[on being labeled the Face of Women's MMA] There's more people more deserving out there than me. I really appreciate it and I don't mean to be rude in denying it or anything, but I just feel like... "I've got five fights. Give me a chance to grow." You can't just put me up there already. I still have to fight the best and I haven't fought the best yet. I feel like there's better girls out there and a lot better than me. And I want to fight them.
It wasn't always easy to walk into gyms as a female. People were like, "What? Women are doing this now? This is insane!" I was blessed enough to be that person to break down walls and it wasn't easy. And I'm not saying it was easy at all.
[on her historic Showtime fight with Julie Kedzie] After that fight, I grabbed her and I hugged her, and I was like, you know... that felt like something special happened tonight. It really did feel like we'd conquered something. It felt like we did something good here that not a lot of people had ever seen before. I think that's when I realized that I was starting to become a part of something that was really, really special.
My two sisters are so beautiful. I always felt like I was not the pretty one. I felt like I was picked on a lot. Not to like, have a sob story because I'm actually thankful for everything I felt then even if it was true or not. I came home crying every day from school, or whatever. I'm glad it happened. It just makes you stronger.
I want to be a positive influence, and I want people to look at me and see that this is me, this is my heart. It's me out there and that's all that I can give. I'm not trying to conquer or prove anything. I'm just being myself.
[on MMA fighting not being for women] We're obviously different creatures, but I think women are great fighters. Training just to train is a completely different thing than living a lifestyle of a fighter. Why would anybody want to restrict somebody from doing something that they're passionate about, a way of life? It kills me. I can't even believe it's actually a question. If we want to fight, we're fighting, guys.
[on Ronda Rousey becoming the new face of women's MMA] I think she's wonderful. I think she's talented... she's so talented. To have somebody in our sport from the Olympics, I think is a really big deal. So, I have a lot of respect for her and I think she's wonderful for us and the sport. Not one of her fights has gone out of the first round... the first minute of the first round. That's incredible. That's awesome that our sport is attracting people like that.
I am a recognized female in the sport [MMA]. I'm not going to take the whole burden or the glory of female fighting on because, first of all, there's females that have come before me and there's females that will come after me. There's better females out there. I'm just trying to hang in and see where I measure up.
We all have different places that we fit in life. I'm trying to find my fit. It seems to be physical violence. [Laughs]
[on being labeled] I'm Gina Carano. You can label me that.
Success and social life is interesting because one part of you wants to stay extremely real and talk to everyone and be friends with everyone. And the next part of you understands that some people don't have the same mind frame.
I'm really proud of my sport. I'm really proud to have come from such a beautiful thing. It changes people's lives. It changed mine.
[on acting] I want to see an athlete cross over correctly and do it well. It's like a challenge to me.
[on her possible return to the MMA] My last fight wasn't the way I wanted to go so there's a hole there, so I wouldn't count me out.
[on how she began training in Muay Thai] I was dating somebody [Kevin Ross] who loved Bruce Lee. One day we were drinking 40s of Old English and he decided, "Hey, I'm going to lose this girl if I don't clean up my life". And he walked into a gym the next day and became completely sober and is now one of the best Muay Thai guys we have in America. He changed my life just by wanting to be a better person for me.
[on not being taken seriously as a fighter because of her looks] I've been like seriously laughed at, to the point where they're just looking at me up and down and like, laughing at you in front of crowds. And I just stood there. And that is probably the worst thing to do with me I realized because I've never punched somebody so hard in my life.
MMA and fighting is not something you can really fake. When you're in a fight it's kind of easier to see a person for who they really are. I'm in the sport because I love it and I'm not trying to get famous. I do fight because I want to.
A perfect date for me is beach, wine and laughter -- Flirtatious sexual energy.
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.
I can't drive how I fight anymore because I almost got my license suspended. I'm two points away from getting my license suspended because cops never let me go for some reason. I was going 126 but I'm a really good driver at 126 and that's the thing. It's not really reckless if you're in control, right?
I know I don't look like all these other women. I know I don't look like the skinny slender model. I know I look a little different but people like to watch me for some reason. It feels good and I'm humbled by it.
[on how fighting is comparable to sex] It's a very real interaction between two human beings. It's like an energy that nobody else is going to share.
I walked into the gym and this little Thai man walked up to me and said, "Oh baby, you fat. You need to lose weight." I was chubby. I really needed to get back into shape and I started training with him, the same guy that called me fat.
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. So I was like -- Damn! Okay! Here we go! I'm good at something! It just happens to be fighting. Go figure.
I've done a *@$#load of work and pain and barriers that I've broken down so far. I'm making a career for myself and I'm doing the best I can. I'm not ashamed of anything I've done.
[on Cris Cyborg testing positive for a banned substance] It hurt a little bit. That was my most important MMA moment and so I can't lie that it didn't sting. At the same time, she's a phenomenal athlete and whoever is around her telling her that she needs that is wrong. She doesn't need that. She'll be phenomenal without that. She has a bad time ahead of her. She's off for a year now. That's an emotional thing where you have to earn people's trust back in a way. I'm not rejoicing in it at all. I'm hurt but at the same time I sympathize with her and I know that she's great, one of the best female athletes that we've had in the sport. She'll come back.
[on the criticism that Female Fighters can advance their careers on looks more than talent] There's all sorts of different types of people. I think everybody's special. Of course the media wants to focus on 'sex sells' but I'm just not a believer in that. But I'm not afraid to take a nice sexy photo either. I'm okay with that. I'm not trying to run from being female. I think this world is moving past 'sex sells' a lot. I think we're getting to the point to where you have to look deeper into a person. Or maybe that's just me hoping.
[on the movie Haywire and director Steven Soderbergh] He saw me fighting, doing something that I loved -- that I still love. And he wanted to give me an opportunity. He wrote it for me with the idea in mind that it (Mallory Kane) would be a character close to me, that I could understand. But it ends up being not a character that I understood at all because she's organized and she's strict and she's an alpha female and I'm nothing like that.
[on her MMA career] I have gotten some of the most beautiful experiences that a person can possibly ask for so I'm not at all complaining. I got pushed out fast and I got to pave a beautiful way and there's a lot of great female MMA fighters out there right now and there will be more in the future and I've absolutely adored being one of those people that's helped that out.
[on her one MMA loss to Cris Cyborg in August 2009] I wanted so badly to do so well for so many people. I wanted to do so much in that fight and I think I had an adrenaline dump or I just wasn't myself and I think a lot of people saw that, which kind of throws you off. You feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath you. I trained so hard for that fight. I was in the best shape I've ever been in. It was kind of devastating.
[on dating] When you meet a guy the question goes through your head whether you can beat him up or not and I think that's an instant attraction. You know, if they can't take you then I don't think they're interested.