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Gabi Garcia returns to Rizin to fight Brazilian kickboxer Barbara Nepomuceno on New Year’s Eve

Gabi Garcia
Gabi Garcia
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Gabi Garcia is back.

The 6-foot-2 women’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu standout will return to MMA against Brazilian kickboxer Barbara Nepomuceno at Rizin 14 on Dec. 31 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan, Rizin announced Wednesday. The bout will be contested at 226 pounds.

Garcia (5-0, 1 NC) will make her return to Rizin for the first time since last year’s New Year’s Eve show when her fight with Shinobu Kandori was canceled after Garcia missed weight by 28 pounds. The BJJ world champion fought most recently for ROAD FC, beaten Veronica Futina by first-round submission back in May. Garcia, 33, fought to a no contest in Rizin against Oksana Gagloeva in July 2017 when Gagloeva could not continue following a Garcia eye poke. It has been difficult for promotions to find opponents her size.

Nepomuceno, a kickboxing standout, will be making her MMA debut in this fight. She is 5-foot-8 and weighs about 198 pounds. Nepomuceno, 33, has been calling for a bout with Garcia recently. She fell in a World Grand Prix kickboxing match in Brazil last month due to knee injury.

It was announced Wednesday that Miyuu Yamamoto, sister of Kid Yamamoto, will face Mika Nagano at Rizin 14, as well.

Rizin 14 will be headlined by a champion vs. champion bout between Bellator bantamweight titleholder Darrion Caldwell and Rizin champ Kyoji Horiguchi. Also on the card, boxing legend Floyd Mayweather meets Japanese kickboxing prodigy Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition boxing match.

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