by: Esteban of totalprosports.com
Five-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Gabi Garcia is 31 years old, stands 6″2″ inches tall, and weighs in at 244 pounds. In short, she is a beast who can snap most grown men (including yours truly) in half like twigs. So naturally her next MMA opponent is a 52-year-old, 5’7″ Japanese politician.
Seriously. Garcia will take on Shinobu Kandori in the open weight division at the RIZIN Wolrd Grand-Prix: Final Round on December 31 in Saitama, Japan.
Now, Kandori is not just any 5’7″, 52-year-old politician. Back in the day she was an Olympic judoka, and she parlayed that into successful stints in pro wrestling and MMA.
That said, Kandori has been retired from combat sports for 17 years. And seeing her stand next to Garcia at a recent press conference, she does not appear capable of lasting more than 20 seconds against Garcia.
See for yourself:
Should be a pretty interesting fight. Here’s the official press release from RIZIN:
A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Garcia is a 6-foot-2, 31-year-old resident of Huntington Beach, Calif. who has dominated her competition in the world of MMA since making her professional debut at the inaugural RIZIN FF event on December 31, 2015 when she scored a first round (2:36) TKO (punches) on professional wrestler Lei’D Tapa.
In her last start, Garcia, a protégé of former UFC and Strikeforce star Renato “Babalu” Sobral, submitted professional football player and fellow MMA upstart Destanie Yarbrough with a keylock in the first round (2:42) of their RIZIN FF matchup on September 25.
An unconventional opponent, Kandori is a 5-foot-7, 52-year-old combat sports icon turned politician who serves as a member of the House of Councillors in the Diet, or national legislature of Japan.
Kandori earned a bronze medal at the 1984 World Judo Championships in Vienna, Austria as well as national Judo championships for three consecutive years between 1983 and 1985, before going on to compete for a number of different professional wrestling organizations, including Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling, for a span of over 20 years.
As an MMA competitor, Kandori notched all four of her career wins by way of submission, and placed as runner-up in the eight-woman LLPW – Ultimate L-1 Tournament on July 18, 1995.
Of course, I was going to start this post with something like “Only in Japan!” until I remembered the story of Ann Perez, the badass 68-year-old grandma who fought 24-year-old MMA pro Laura Dettman earlier this year in Colorado. So I guess it’s only in Japan AND Colorado.
Hat Tip – [MMA Mania]