Heavyweight contender Erica Grover is not happy with the way Gabi Garcia handled last weekend’s accidental eye-poke situation at RIZIN Fighting Federation 6. She feels as though the Brazilian has lacked class in her responses, as well as reflecting badly on the sport.
The July 30th women’s heavyweight fight between Gabi Garcia and Oxana Gagloeva was called to a halt in just 16 seconds of the very first round. Gagloeva (0-1, 1 NC) decided not to continue, after an accidental eye-poke from Gabi Garcia (4-0, 1 NC), resulting in the No Contest.
Since the fight, it has been revealed that Gagloeva suffered severe corneal injury. Meanwhile, Garcia has blasted Gagloeva for pulling out, branding her a “p**sy” and a “coward”, she also claims that Gagloeva is lying about the injuries.
Grover (1-1), the number-five ranked heavyweight, gave her in-depth opinions on the incident.
“Eye injuries are no joke. Detached retina’s and blindness are always a risk and have long term repercussions. In the moment of a fight when an eye-poke happens it’s also a game changer for many reasons. The lack to see clearly with both eyes, peripheral vision being impaired, blurriness are just some of the physical issues when it happens. On top of that it can mentally damage a fighter in the moment” Grover said.
“I saw the pictures of her eye and it was a pretty good eye poke. I can not say if it was intentional or not, either way it happened. Would I have continued, personally yes I would’ve attempted to continue the fight no matter what. Is that the smartest choice? I am not sure but I can only speak for myself and don’t think less of Oxana for not continuing. There may be reasons Oxana had in the moment that made her feel as though she couldn’t and that’s certainly her and her teams call” she continued.
The 36-year-old is far from pleased with the way Garcia has handled the situation. She feels the Brazilian’s derogatory comments reflect poorly on the sport.
“The most frustrating thing to me that has come out of this match up is how Gabi handled it. Keep it classy and professional. Calling Oxana a derogatory name only reflects poorly on Gabi and makes our sport look less polished. I am disappointed at her reaction and how she handled herself in a situation where people can be quick to take offense” Grover explained.
Grover made a successful professional MMA debut in March 2015, knocking out Jenna Bernick in the first round. She followed up in October of the same year, losing out to Sarah Patterson. She has constantly been training and working on her game ever since and is keen to make a return in the near future. She’s even willing to take on the number-one heavyweight herself, Gabi Garcia.
“I say Gabi and Oxana should have a rematch or better yet, give me one of them to fight I’m ready and willing and just looking for someone who won’t pull out of the fight in the middle of fight camp – happened to me twice now! I train all the time and don’t take a break just hard to find someone to accept a fight” Grover said.
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Fight fans, do you agree with Grover’s comments? Would you like to see her be given the Gabi Garcia fight next? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.