Gabi Garcia Makes Stand-Up Debut Versus MMA Pioneer Megumi Yabushita on July 7 in Shoot Boxing

By: Jordan Breen
Jul 3, 2017

Gabi Garcia is in for a busy July.

The nine-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion was already scheduled for her fifth pro MMA bout at Rizin Fighting Federation's World Grand Prix on July 30. However, before that, the grappling powerhouse is going to have her first stand-up rules fight in short order: Shoot Boxing has announced that Garcia will meet women's MMA pioneer and pro wrestler Megumi Yabushita at Girls S-Cup 2017 on July 7 at Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo.

The three-round contest will be under full Shoot Boxing rules, which permits punches, elbows, knees and kicks standing, but also features clinch throws and standing submissions. Coincidentally, Garcia was originally scheduled to make her MMA debut against Yabushita on the same December 2014 Real Fight Championship card that Kron Gracie made his pro debut on, but the bout fell apart.

The Girls S-Cup 2017 card will also feature MMA fighters Ayaka Miura and Shizuka Sugiyama making their own respective stand-up rules debuts, as well. Miura faces Yoko Odamaki, while Sugiyama squares off with Mina Sakurai.

A 20-year fighting veteran, Yabushita rose to prominence courtesy of her iconic defeat of 6-foot-3, 330-pound Russian judoka Svetlana Goundarenko in the landmark December 2000 ReMix World Cup. Typically a bantamweight, Yabushita hasn't had a combat sports bout since her loss to Ultimate Fighting Championship strawweight Chanmi Jeon. It will be the 45-year-old's first Shoot Boxing appearance since losing via third-round doctor stoppage to Hiroko Yamanaka in August 2011.

Garcia, 31, is now 4-0 in MMA after turning pro on New Year's Eve 2015, with all her fights coming under the Rizin banner. This will be the heavyweight's first fight since crushing another pro wrestler-slash-MMA pioneer, Yumiko Hotta, this New Year's Eve past.

Though not yet official, it is expected that Rizin will soon announce Russian amateur boxing convert Oksana Gagloeva as Garcia's opponent for July 30 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

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