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Gina Carano: MMA's first female superstar is ready for acting stardom in Disney's Star Wars spin-off 'The Mandalorian' (PHOTOS)

Gina Carano: MMA's first female superstar is ready for acting stardom in Disney's Star Wars spin-off 'The Mandalorian' (PHOTOS)
With her movie-star looks and world-champion fighting spirit, Gina Carano became the world's biggest star in women's MMA. Now she's set to become a Disney star, as part of the upcoming Star Wars spin-off series, The Mandalorian.

The episodic drama, which launches on Disney's streaming service Disney+ on November 12, follows the life of a bounty hunter, with Carano playing one of the starring roles as Cara Dune, a former Rebel Shock Trooper-turned-mercenary who fought for the Rebel Alliance in the civil war.

The role sees her star alongside Pedro Pascal and Carl Weathers, who became a worldwide superstar when he played Apollo Creed in the legendary Rocky movies.

It's the latest role in Carano's increasingly successful post-fight career as an actress. Her first major movie role came in the 2011 action thriller Haywire, and led to her being cast in Fast & Furious 6 two years later, then Deadpool in 2016.

Carano has appeared in 11 feature films in all, but her upcoming role in The Mandalorian is undoubtedly her most significant role to date.

Carano's transition from MMA star to actress has been a remarkable one after the MMA starlet swapped the cage for the screen in 2009.

Prior to that career change, Carano was one of the biggest names, and most popular faces, in the sport of mixed martial arts. Fighting for the now-defunct Strikeforce and Elite XC promotions, Carano defeated the likes of Julie Kedzie, Tonya Evinger and Kaitlin Young as she built a 7-0 record and become the face of women's MMA at the time. That run came to an end in a first-round TKO defeat at the hands of Cris Cyborg in August 2009 in a bout that proved to be her last as a professional mixed martial artist.

Rumors of a possible return have come and gone over recent years, with the most recent linking her with a December 2014 bout with Ronda Rousey in the UFC, but reported contract negotiations for the fight hit a stalemate and the fight never materialized.

Interestingly, Carano remains technically under contract with the UFC, with Dana White stating in 2014 that Carano still had four fights remaining on her original deal the UFC inherited when they purchased Strikeforce.

But any thoughts of a possible return for Carano now seem far-fetched, with the former MMA superstar now well on the way to becoming an even bigger star in the acting world.

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