“My new life starts here”. An interview with Gabi Garcia.

—Can you give us your thoughts on your opponent?
I think she is going to come at me with her wrestling, which she is good at, but I am not worried at all. I am going to control the fight and overwhelm her.
—How do you feel leading up to the fight?
There was some nervous tension when I was preparing for the fight, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. I did everything I could possibly do, I am in great shape and that is something I can brag about. I feel a little impatient but I am certainly not scared at all because the training I did for this fight was so intense, it has prepared me well. Nothing is more intense than training, not even a fight. I have trained with some of the best fighters in the world over the past 6 months. This fight is going to be my chance to celebrate all the skills I have acquired so far. I really want to put on a great show for the fans.
—What are your thoughts on your MMA debut?
This might be my MMA debut, but the timing couldn’t be better. Mr. Sakakibara sent me the offer to fight and truth be told, I had been thinking about doing MMA for a little while already. This time, with the offer in hand, I was able to fully commit myself to getting ready for this MMA fight. The effect can be felt as far back as Brazil, where the people are very happy and expect a lot from me. When the fight goes exactly the way I anticipate it will, I think a lot of people are going to be shocked.
—Women’s MMA is really experiencing quite a boom right now. How do you feel about being treated as a star performer in Rizin?
I have achieved far my than I could have imagined from just doing jujitsu. I have the most medals out of any athlete, both male and female. I have overcome so many barriers and this is my best characteristic. I’m not just a big woman, I have that rebellious spirit and endeavor that I am able to brag about. I had always wanted to try MMA but was always told that there we no divisions for bigger women. Even if someone said that this heavyweight division was made so I can fight in it, that wouldn’t be an exaggeration at all. I am going to give my undivided attention , devote myself 100% to Rizin.
—What are your thoughts on the offer from Mr. Sakakibara?
I don’t really know why Mr. Sakakibara thinks so highly of me and has treated me so importantly, but I do feel the pressure. I am sure it’s because of my background, and the value I bring to the product. When Mr. Sakakibara met my father he said to him, “this is the first time I have met a female warrior”. I may be a big fighter, but my value will keep rising and that’s what drives me so hard to train. Everyone in my family is super excited about this fight.
—Do you have anything you’d like to say to the fans?
Thank you so much for all the wonderful messages on social media. I am blessed to have the best coaches in their respective fields, whether it be striking or wrestling. I enter the ring by myself, but I have the support of so many people around me. I believe that from now on, a new phase in my new life is starting. I am so grateful everyday to all my friends, to the ones that punched me. I return those punches with much gratitude.