Black belt Gabi Garcia recently reported that she was going to move away from competition in the gi and focus more one tournaments such as ADCC and her MMA career. According to Garcia (and totally borrowed from Megan at Tangled Triangle):
“I want to fight MMA now. I don’t know when I will fight on a GI again. I’m unmotivated, not because I think I’m invincible, but we need to find another challenge. Many people is not fighting the absolute class, focusing on the weight classes, and I need another goal in life. If I am able to get down my weight, and if UFC or other events begin to have bigger weight classes, I will get down my weight as much as possible. Now I am going to train to defend my title in the ADCC.”
While I can’t really blame her, there are a whole lot of “if’s” in that remark and I do question the possible jump to MMA, especially in the near future. Yes, fight organizations such as the UFC and Invicta are beginning to include women’s divisions, but even if/when she goes into MMA, her opportunities to fight at the moment (and I feel for a while) will be limited at best. Let’s be blunt, Gabi’s a whole lotta woman- at 6’2, and reportedly about 235lbs, she’s really in a size and weight class all her own, male or female. Her chances of finding competition that can come close in size are very slim. Personally I think her chances of competing are better in ADCC, where due to their weight and skill criteria for women, and she probably has more people potentially her size to compete against, even if they are at a lower belt/skill level. I also think she shouldn’t give up just yet on gi tournaments- more women are becoming black belts, and they are coming up in all shapes and sizes, and so hopefully sooner rather than later she will have some new competition to go against. Again though, we’re depending on a very big “if”, which can be frustrating.
Also, personally I think it would be interesting to see Gabi compete against MMA fighter Cris Cyborg. Cyborg is a brown belt, but I also think she would give Gabi the fight she has been looking for in these different competitions. That’s just my personal opinion.
What do you guys think? Should she pack the gi away? Will she have the competition she is looking for in MMA? Or do you think there are just too many unknown variables and there’s really no way of predicting what will happen? Let me know!