6 foot 2 and weighing in at 245 pounds – the number 1 heavyweight fighter in the world, Gabi Garcia (3-0-0) is a woman who everyone wants to watch. She’s looked great in her previous three fights getting brutal stoppage victories over Lei’d Tapa, Anna Maliukov and Destanie Yarbrough.
She’s set to take on the 49 year old pro-wrestler Yumika Hotta at the Rizin FF year-end event on December 31st. She was previously scheduled to take on 52 year old retired pro-wrestler Shinobu Kandori at the event, however Kandori
had to pull out due to injury. Both ladies were in their primes back in the 1980/90s. Fans have been critical of Rizin’s decision to allow for such a mismatch to take place, with several fighters also voicing their disapproval.
We take a look at six women who would have made for a more exciting fight against Gabi Garcia.
1. Katya “DOMINATOR” Kavaleva
It’s no secret 6’5ft kickboxing world champion the “DOMINATOR” Katya Kavaleva has been wanting a fight with Gabi Garcia for a long time. Fans were hopeful it would be Kavaleva who would face Garcia at the Rizin FF year-end event. Kavaleva was the first to hit out at the decision calling it a “WWE event”, she says Garcia stands no chance against her. She’s since revealed Rizin FF have lost their chance. She’s eyeing a potential move to the WWE in 2017 and reveals she’d only fight the Brazilian for the UFC, Bellator or Invicta FC. Kavaleva is from Belarus and is a seasoned champion in karate, kickboxing and taekwondo.
2. Jazzy “Alpha Female” Gabert
34 year old Gabert from Germany has been a pro-wrestler since 2001, including a stint in TNA. She has fast become one of the most respected female pro-wrestlers of all time. More recently she’s made the transition over to MMA as part of the middleweight division. She made her pro MMA debut back in October defeating Manuela Kuhse in the second round via vicious ground and pound. She will be announcing her second fight in the new year. She’s hopeful she will have the opportunity to fight Garcia for Rizin FF at some point during the 2017 – “I think 2017 will be the best year for the big girls. I’m thankful there is a promotion like Rizin”.
3. Barbara Nepomuceno
This Brazilian is a kickboxer who came runner to up to Katya Kavaleva in the Women’s Kickboxing World Championship 2015. She currently competes at the 170lbs division and is currently the WGP Super Middle Weight Champion as well as holding the number 1 ranking at the WAKO Kickboxing World Championships. She hit out at Garcia on social media following the fight announcement, calling the bout a “circus” and explaining why she believes she was passed over for the 52 year old. She trains out of Gaia MMA and plans to make the transition to MMA in the near future. Just like with Kavaleva, Garcia is yet to face someone who is closer to her own size and has the striking credentials of Nepomuceno.
4. Erica Grover
Utah’s Grover is one of the hardest hitters in women’s MMA right now, competing in the light heavyweight division. She made her pro debut back in March 2015, knocking out Jenna Bernick at 2:57 of the very first round. She followed up by taking on number 3 lightweight, Sarah Patterson. She lost the bout in round 1 via TKO, revealing to us she wanted the fight to continue “Fight got called too soon. If I was a guy they would’ve kept it going. My eye split open and I told the referee I still wanted to keep going“. She plans to return to the cage in 2017, and says she will fight any woman on this planet, including Gabi Garcia.
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5. Hillary VanOrnum
Portland, Oregon’s VanOrnum is a BJJ World Champion, possessing world class skills on the ground. She’s been IBJJF World Champion, IBJJF Master’s World Champion and IBJJF Pan Jiu Jitsu Champion. She has the perfect 3-0-0 record in amateur MMA competition, which includes a first round TKO, a second round TKO and a dominant unanimous decision victory. She last competed in 2013 and is now the jiu-jitsu coach at the Industrial Strength gym in her hometown. Her accomplishments more than prove this woman is a danger to Gabi Garcia and for the right money there is no doubt she’d turn pro making her MMA return to face the Brazilian monster.
6. Stacy ‘The Hammer’ Hayes
British welterweight fighter, ‘The Hammer’ has been fighting as a pro since 2011 and has rose to prominence in her hometown of Essex, making history becoming the first female pro fighter to compete from her county. She competed for the Middleweight championship back in 2014 for UCMMA 41. She was last seen competing back in May of 2015 when she defeated fellow Brit Claire Smith via a round 1 TKO. Hayes’ has taken almost 18 months off and plans a return in 2017, she revealed to us in a recent interview “I’ll be fighting in 2017, I’ve been trying my hand at boxing in 2016″. She plans on fighting abroad in 2017 “I have to be honest there’s more opportunity for me elsewhere such as America, Asia and Europe. I would jump at the opportunity to fight abroad“. Hayes’ is a vicious striker finishing fights in the first round, it would be a very tough night for Garcia if the two were to pair of.
Who would you like to see face Gabi Garcia in 2017? Let us know in the comments below.