Gabi Garcia defeated 49 year old Yumiko Hotta at last Saturday’s RIZIN FF year-end event. Many fans and fellow fighters were critical of the fight. They felt the fight was a complete mismatch and found it uncomfortable to watch, with some even claiming it should be “illegal” to put on such a display. Fighters to lash out included Bec Rawlings and Katya Kavaleva, as well as UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Now a week after the fight, she finally speaks.
The multiple-time jiu-jitsu world champion is still in Japan almost a week after the fight after losing her passport, and can’t return to the United States or Brazil right now. That didn’t stop her from hearing critics from fans around the world, though.
I don’t care what people say about me,” the 31 year old Brazilian told MMAFighting. “Joe Rogan tweeting about it. His job is to talk and promote his organization. My job is to beat someone else. I’m fine dealing with critics because I’ve heard a lot during my jiu-jitsu career and it can’t get worse than that. And I wasn’t fighting for free, right?”
“Everybody knows the rules and get paid to fight,” she continued. “(Hotta) accepted the fight. It’s not bizarre, it’s their culture. I respect that. It was a big marketing move for the company. ‘Look at us! Bizarre or not, look at us!’ I think (Nobuyuki Sakakibara) is very smart. He’s the greatest promoter in the world. He made ‘Minotauro,’ Wanderlei, Anderson, ‘Shogun,’ ‘Cro Cop’ and other legends.”
Garcia admits that she was scared by her 49 year old opponent Yumiko Hotta’s strategy. She says it completely threw her off, and she admits she feared her career could be over.
“When she started jumping on the ropes and running, I looked at Cris (Cyborg) and thought ‘what do I do now?’ My mind was like ‘she’s gonna fly into me and land a punch and my career will be over,’” Garcia said.
“I was surprised and shocked. I didn’t expect any of that. I thought she would throw an overhand or something like that, not to run and jump on the ropes. That scared me. Cris told me after the fight ‘I wouldn’t know how to react to that, too.’”
After the fight, a German pro-wrestler named Jazzy Gabert, who has a 1-0-0 record in MMA entered the ring, calling out Gabi Garcia and telling her “I want to kick your a**”. The Brazilian was not impressed saying she found it “disrespectful”. She admits she had her suspicions as she spotted her before the fight in the hotel.
“I’m a nice woman, but when I can’t control myself when people talk trash to me. And the good thing about MMA is that I can unleash everything I have,” Garcia said. “I saw her before the fight in the hotel and I was suspicious because she’s tall, and Ray (Elbe) said that she had done her MMA debut a couple of months before. She entered the ring after the fight and challenged me, said she was gonna kick my ass and things like that. It was so disrespectful to the Japanese crowd.
“I fought four times in one year, lost 37 pounds in three months, my mind is tired, but I’m injury-free,” she continued. “It’s easy to talk, to challenge me. So I was like ‘ok, let’s do this. Go backstage, do your medical exams, put some gloves on and let’s fight now,’ and then she started saying she needs six or eight months to prepare for me. But she’s my next opponent, for sure. That was for real. I had no idea that would happen, but the fight will happen. They haven’t told me if I’m fighting her on this next card, but I think I will be on it.“
Do you agree with Garcia’s opinions on her critics? Are you excited to see her fight “The Alpha Female” Jazzy Gabert? Let us know in the comments below.