2017 was not kind to Gabi Garcia. The former BJJ champion faced a comically undersized Megumi Yabushita in a shootboxing match that ended in a no contest due to a soccer kick. Then later that month, her MMA bout against Russian fighter Oksana Gagloeva ended with another no contest due to an eyepoke in the opening minute of the fight.
To make things worse, her December fight against 53-year-old Shinobu Kandori was cancelled after Garcia somehow failed to make weight by over 25 pounds. That episode was then followed by one of the most bizarre ceremonial self-flagellations in the history of the sport.
Now that the new year has come in, Garcia will attempt to get out of that rut and continue her MMA career. Her next challenge will be former Sambo practitioner Veronika Futina, who will also be making her MMA debut when they meet at the ROAD FC Openweight Grand Prix next month.
Futina is an interesting choice, as she and Garcia have sniped at each other in past interviews. Another interesting fact is that the 5’11 Futina is a teammate of two of Garcia’s opponents, Gagloeva and Anna Maliukova at Russia’s Gladiator Fight Team. At 31 years of age, she’s trained in boxing and Judo as well as Sambo, going on to win six titles in Hand to Hand Combat.
Here’s a sample of Futina’s arsenal:
On paper, this appears to be the most motivated and perhaps best prepared opponent that could be found so far for Garcia. With a striking background, comparable size and a legitimate grappling background, it’s entirely possible for Futina to pose a threat.
ROAD FC 47 takes place on May 12th, live from the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China. This event will also feature Jerome Le Banner, Chris Barnett, Alexandru Lungu, Aorigele and the return of Gilbert Yvel in the tournament opener.