Gabi Garcia wants to make her transition to MMA, but she wants to face a real challenge.
Garcia, a nine-time jiu-jitsu world champion and ADCC winner, has signed a deal with Japanese promotion Real Fight to make her MMA debut in Tokyo on Dec. 23. It was announced that Garcia would be facing 42-year-old Japanese fighter Megumi Yabushita, who competes in the bantamweight division.
Garcia, who is willing to cut down from 226 to 198 pounds for her first MMA bout, told Tatame that she hasn’t agreed to face Yabushita.
"We have been negotiating fight purse, opponents, etc, and they suddenly announced me on this card without talking to me," Garcia said. "I haven’t even heard about this girl. They surprised me as well. I was in talks to fight on Dec. 23, but I had no opponent yet."
"Yabushita offered herself to fight me, because she has fought bigger girls before, but I won’t take (the fight)," she continued. "I’m anxious to make my debut, but I need an opponent of my size. Some girls want to fight me to get attention, but can’t make a joke, a circus out of this. I want a real fight."
Garcia suggests Amanda Lucas (5-1) or Lana Stefanac (6-0) as opponents for her MMA debut, and is open to fight in Brazil if Real Fight can’t find her a proper opponent.
"I want to fight MMA as a challenge, it’s not about money or anything like that," Garcia said. "I didn’t take this fight because of the weight, size and strength difference. People always judged me for being stronger, so I think that accepting this fight wouldn’t be good for my career and my image.
"I think I can make 192 pounds. For this fight in Japan, I said I would be willing to cut down to 198. The problem is that Real Fight wants me to fight a Japanese fighter. There are a few promotions in Brazil making me offers, like XFC. I just want to fight. I even looked at potential opponents. There’s Amanda Lucas, a girl that fought for DEEP, and Lana, that I fought a few times in jiu-jitsu. Those are big girls, but, if they can’t find opponents for me (in Japan), I will make my debut here in Brazil."