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Gabi Garcia set to fight twice in 23 days in Japan

Gabi Garcia Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Gabi Garcia has a busy month ahead of her.

The multiple-time jiu-jitsu world champion was already scheduled to compete at RIZIN’s upcoming show on July 30 in Saitama, Japan, and just agreed to step inside the Shoot Boxing Girl’s S-Cup card on July 7 for a Shootboxing contest.

The promotion had yet to announce who will Garcia meet on July 7, and the jiu-jitsu ace told MMA Fighting she wasn’t informed of who’s her opponent as well.

"I haven’t fought twice in a month since my jiu-jitsu days,” Garcia said. "This fight was offered now, I accepted it last Saturday. I don’t know yet who I’m going to fight on the 7th, but it’s a personal challenge for me because it’s a muay thai fight. I’ve already competed in judo, jiu-jitsu and MMA, and now I’m fighting muay thai. I was born to be challenged.”

Garcia says that, at first, the promotion offered her a fight with Jazzy Gabert, who called her out in the past for a MMA fight under the RIZIN banner, but she’s facing someone else in a three three-minute round openweight bout in Tokyo.

"She called me out, and I wanted to fight her because of the things she said about me. She crossed the line,” Garcia said. "But after she lost at RIZIN, it wasn’t interesting to me anymore. But they still offered me a fight with her at Shoot Boxing, and I said I’d think about it. I was talking to my coaches when the promotion said she pulled out, and they haven’t told me yet the name of my opponent."

The Brazilian grappler will compete in a stand-up fight for the first time in her life, and wasn’t thrilled with the idea when first offered. However, a call from RIZIN president Nobuyuki Sakakibara changed her mind.

"What made me accept this fight was a call from my boss,” Garcia admits. "My manager kept turning it down, and I knew that if (Sakakibara) called me I’d say yes. I was having lunch when he called me asking to take the fight, so I took it [laughs]. I trust him for everything he’s done for me and my career."

Garcia won’t need to weigh in for the Shootboxing bout, but wants to keep her weight down, around 205 pounds, to stay fast. Later that month, under the RIZIN banner, Garcia says she will face a Russian boxer, but can’t reveal her name just yet.

"I know she’s a southpaw, so it’s different for me,” Garcia said. "I think this fight at Shoot Boxing will help me get more comfortable standing. I’ll try to showcase my striking and get ready for my fight at RIZIN. I have yet to kicks in my fights yet. I throw a lot of knees, but I need to use my kicks more. I train it a lot, kicks and combinations, so I think this fight will be good to test myself."

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