Gabi Garcia: “I don’t feel any pressure”

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Alliance’s Gabi Garcia is the 2011 double gold Worlds winner, winning both her heavyweight division and the absolute on Sunday. Last year, in 2010, she won her weight class and closed out the open class division for Alliance with her best friend and teammate Luanna Alzuguir. Garcia also won the Worlds in her weight class in 2008.

Gabrielle Garcia, double Worlds winner for the second year in a row / Photo: Deb Blyth

Garcia has been training in Jiu-Jitsu for about eight years and feels confident in her game. At 25 years of age, Garcia says she doesn’t give in to the pressure at these big events because Jiu-Jitsu is her job and it’s normal to expect it. “I just need to be my best,” she says, “People say I’m so strong, but the reason for that is because I train three times a day. For the last year, I’ve been on a very strict diet and have lost 30 kilos.” Garcia says the training plus the dieting has made her a much faster and more technical competitor. “My Jiu-Jitsu has definitely changed for the better because of it,” she says.

Although Garcia was nervous about her matches about a week before the Worlds, she says once she’s in the moment, her natural instincts take over and she feels great. “I love competing,” she says, “I like to fight.” She says her body has gotten tired over the years from all her training and competing and she’s had to fight off numerous injuries, but she loves Jiu-Jitsu and doesn’t have any plans to stop any time soon. “I need to stay at the top for the next two, three, four years,” she says, “My focus for now is just competition.”

Garcia says she’s ok with others studying her game and trying to beat her at every competition. “It’s normal for people to study the top game,” she says, “So, I’m honored that other girls study me. Garcia says her next event is the ADCC No-Gi tournament in London. “I haven’t gotten a gold medal in that yet,” she says, intimating that it’s time to get one, “That’s my focus.”

Garcia wants to thank her professor Fabio Gurgel. “He’s my coach and my best friend,” she says, “He’s changed my Jiu-Jitsu and my life.” She also wants to acknowledge Edson Ramalho, her strength and conditioning coach and her sponsors, Mginaction, Keiko, and Eternity Liss.

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There are 17 comments for this article
  1. Anônimo at 6:18 pm

    Gabi does not get the credit she deserves just because she is a big woman. I think she is very technical and just knows how to use her size to her advantage. Her conditioning has really improved as you could see at this last worlds, she looked in alot better shape then last years worlds. Like her absolute finals against Bia, people were booing her, making fun of her size, I think that is just ridiculous and unfair, she works hard and deserves all the credit for that win. If those were two guys in there nobody would have said anything about a little guy going against a big guy. Plus its the aboslutes there is no weight classes.

    • MoltenLava at 11:50 am

      True, if it were guys no one would have said anything. But what you forget is if a small guy like “Caio” made it to the finals as he did earlier, he must have beat some men the same size as his final opponent. Point is…when Gabi faces someone her own size and same rank, then we can all applaud. By the way, having a deeper voice than 90% of the male population doesn’t help her cause.

      • Anônimo at 4:09 pm

        Caio is phenomenal and he gets there on his hard work and dedication, Caio has unabelievable Jiu Jitsu!! I was just voicing my opinion because I felt nobody was really giving Gabi any credit, everyone around me at Worlds was either making fun or talking smack. If they would have paid attention to the match, she never really used her size to beat Bia, it was all technique and Jiu Jitsu. I think she had plenty of opportunities to smash and pass or just smash Bia, but she never did, she stuck to very clean and basic Jiu Jitsu to beat her. The only time you really saw her use her size was for takedowns. I think she was trying to show the crowd that she does not need to use her size to win, she can win on technique alone, which she did at her weight class as well.

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