Gabi Garcia’s Gi Competition Dilemma

Gabi Garcia, from Bloody Elbow


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!


Filed under bjj, tournaments

3 responses to “Gabi Garcia’s Gi Competition Dilemma

  1. Jon

    I don’t see how she can transition to MMA. That’s by no means a comment on her skill, I just can’t see there being a sustainable HW, LHW, or MW women’s division in the near future. She can get her weight down as much as she wants, it still doesn’t mean there’s going to a pool of competitors at whatever weight she can make to have a viable weight class. I think Invicta tops out at 145 and Valkyrie somewhere around there, and a 145 lb Gabi is an unhealthy Gabi. Her frame alone is going to make anything below 180 difficult.

    But she’s her own woman. If this is what she wants to do, and she thinks she can do it, you go girl. I’ll just miss watching her in the gi. There are a handful of people whose games I really admire and try to add a wrinkle or two from into my own. Gabi Garcia is definitely in that group.

  2. Pingback: July 18, 2013 | BJJ News

  3. I was very disappointed she didn’t get to fight Cyborg at the 2011 ADCC, which IIRC was originally scheduled to happen at that event. I hope they still get a chance to meet on the mat at a top level tournament.

    On the one hand it would be a shame if Gabi Garcia left gi competition, as she’s such an interesting (if very difficult) challenge for all the other women. On the other, perhaps it will be motivating if she does leave, as then there won’t be that feeling that the best everyone else can hope for is second place.

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