Jiu-Jitsu black belt and now officially a MMA fighter, Gabi Garcia answered the critics after her first fight, this December 31, in Saitama, Japan.
Gabi posted on her social media channels her first impressions after the TKO win over Lei D’ Tapa, at Rizin FF New Year’s Eve card.
“Swollen face but a smile on my face after the fight. My life changed this past June, when I was invited to debut in MMA. I moved to California by myself and started to learn wrestling, muay thai and boxing all at the same time. I didn’t understand a lot of it and I cried and thought of giving up many times. I got kicked a lot and felling pain became a routine. Even so, I met wonderful people and made great new friends,” wrote Gabi.
She then addressed the most common critic found online after the fight, which said that her striking did not show the level expected in a professional MMA fight: “Those who thought I would have a perfect boxing technique, with everything in place, were wrong. I needed 16 years to win my first gold medal in Jiu-Jitsu competitions, so I couldn’t become an MMA champion like the ones you see on TV in only six months. Perfection only comes with time, and most of the time, it never comes.”
Gabi also wrote about the fight itself: “We had all planned out until I got punched in the face. Have you ever thought about being there where I was? Making your first professional MMA fight for a packed Saitama Super Arena? Well! It’s easy to judge my performance looking from the outside. You have never even been pinched, let alone punched. Talk is cheap.”
Despite the critics, Gabi saw the hole experience as mostly positive: “I got punched hard, went down, everything turned black, but I had the heart to come back and win the fight. Then, I was cheered by the same crowd that later on cheered Fedor with the same intensity. People travelled hundreds of miles and some people travelled half around the world to see me fight. You can’t put a price on that.”
After breaking the ice, Gabi is already making plans for the future. She announced the date of her next fight: “Now it’s back to the gym as the next battle already has a date. Japan, I see you again on April 17, in Nagoya.”
The name of the opponent is yet to be announced.
Watch Gabi’s MMA debut.