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Gabi Garcia to fight 52-year-old Shinobu Kandori at RIZIN year-end show

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion Gabi Garcia will meet 52-year-old veteran Shinobu Kandori on Dec. 31 at RIZIN FF's year-end event. The promotion announced the booking late Friday night.

Kandori, a former Japanese professional wrestler turned politician, will be competing in mixed martial arts for the first time since 2000. Standing just 5-foot-7, and weighing under 165 pounds, she will be vastly outsized by the 6'1", 210-pound Garcia.

A decorated, world-ranked grappler, Garcia (3-0) is undefeated in her young MMA career, having won all three of her professional fights via first-round stoppage under the RIZIN FF umbrella. The 31-year-old Garcia knocked out Lei'D Tapa in her pro debut, then submitted Anna Malyukova and Destanie Yarbrough to maintain her unbeaten record.

She'll now face Kandori (4-1), a longtime veteran of the Japanese pro wrestling scene who now works as a politician in Japan's House of Councilors. A world-class judoka before ever entering the squared circle, Kandori fought five times under the LLPW banner from 1995 to 2000, but has not competed since. Kandori won all four of her professional victories via first-round submission.

Of note, Kandori's 1993 wrestling match with Akira Hokuto is considered by many to be one of the most celebrated women's pro wrestling matches in Japanese history. At the time, the match set a new all-time attendance and gate record for women's pro wrestling.

RIZIN FF's year-end show is a two-day event taking place on Dec. 29 and Dec. 31 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The event will feature the final rounds of RIZIN FF's Openweight Grand Prix, which features Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Filipovic, and Shane Carwin, among others.

Video of a staredown between Garcia and Kandori can be seen below.