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Gabi Garcia set to fight twice in July, including once under Shoot Boxing rules

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It’s double duty for the former BJJ ace.

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Long known for her dedication to competitive grappling, Gabi Garcia will be taking on a new set of challenges, as she’ll be fighting twice in the month of July.

The Brazilian BJJ specialist will be fighting in Tokyo on July 7th at the Shoot Boxing Girl’s S-Cup 2017 event. While there were previous plans for her to fight professional wrestler Jazzy Gabert, perhaps at the upcoming RIZIN event on July 30th, Gabert fought at RIZIN FF: Sakura and was defeated via armbar by the 5’3, 20-year-old talent Reina Miura in a bout that saw Gabert mostly dominated on the ground for two rounds. This led to Garcia to change her mind.

(Courtesy by Guilherme Cruz over at MMAFighting)

"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."

As the event name suggests, the card will be held under Shoot boxing rules. This will allow for punches, elbows, kicks and knees. Throws are permitted, and only standing submissions are allowed. Since Garcia will not be able to rely on her strong ground game, she hopes that she will be able to fortify her striking to keep her undefeated MMA record intact. Her opponent will be Megumi Yabushita, whose current MMA record is 19-23 and is currently on a seven-fight losing streak. Yabushita is a veteran that’s faced a who’s who in the sport since 1997. She’s taken on the likes of current UFC talent Chan Mi Jeon, former UFC fighters Sarah Kaufman, Rin Nakai, Shayna Baszler, Roxanne Modafferi (twice) and Lisa Ellis, as well as Tara LaRosa and Marloes Coenen.

She’s also a 45-year-old, 5’2 bantamweight that has lost to all of the notable names above.

None of this is to say that the bout won’t be compelling. We’ll get to see Garcia on short notice working out her striking game and challenge herself. This will also serve as preparation for her next RIZIN opponent who she is unable to disclose for now. She does state that this will be a Russian boxer:

"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."

The Shoot Boxing Girl's S-Cup 2017 event will be headlined by Rena Kubota and Italian kickboxer Jleana Valentino. The RIZIN World Grand Prix 2017 Opening Round Part 1 event will be on July 30th and will be headlined by Hideo Tokoro taking on former UFC flyweight title challenger Kyoji Horiguchi. This card also features former UFC talent Anthony Birchak, Japanese veteran Satoru Kitaoka, DEEP bantamweight champion Takafumi Otsuka and former Greco-Roman world champion Amir Aliakbari. The event takes place at the iconic Saitama Super Arena.