Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Gabi Garcia believes Kayla Harrison is “all bark and bite free” and seriously doubts the Olympic legend will ever agree to face Cris Cyborg in an MMA cage.
Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, became a free agent in MMA after winning her second PFL lightweight tournament in 2021 and raising her professional record to 12-0 with 10 finishes. Cyborg, the current Queen of Bellator and former UFC, Strikeforce and Invicta FC featherweight title holder, has expressed openness to a potential title defense against Harrison in 2022 if she chooses to sign with Bellator afterwards.
Garcia, who has traded blows with Harrison in the past, believes Harrison will choose to re-sign with the PFL because “she is paid very well there” and can avoid stiffer competition.
“I think he’s still missing a few things to call himself [a] Completed [fighter]”Garcia told MMA Fighting.” I don’t see that superiority. I’ve seen [some evolution in her] on the ground and in pound in her past fight, but against Cris, Cris is superior to any other woman in the sport. I can’t say 100% cause I thought Cris would beat Amanda [Nunes] and anything can happen in a fight, but looking at the technique, there is no way [Harrison] beats Cris.
“I don’t know what Kayla’s game plan would be – take her down and stay on top, keep Cris on lateral control, on the ground and to the pound from half the ground?” From a Jiu-jitsu perspective, she cannot subdue Cris. Cris’ defense on the field is excellent and [Harrison] can’t run away. I would hate to fight Cris aux pieds.
Six-time world jiu-jitsu champion as a black belt and four-time ADCC gold medalist, Garcia set a 6-0 record with a no-contest in MMA at a competition in Asia between 2015 and 2018, mainly under the RIZIN banner. The Brazilian grappler said she spent months “managing” his weight to drop to 180 pounds for a potential MMA fight with Harrison, who allegedly turned him down.
” I do not know if [the Cyborg] the fight is going to happen, or even my fight with her, “she said,” just because she thinks she’s better than anyone, that her technique is so good, that my technique is not enough good to fight it. If I’m such easy money, why won’t she fight me? I spent six months managing my weight to combat it. I accepted anything. Lower my weight, do the number of tests she wanted, but she talks.
“She only had one tough fight at the PFL. The rest, in my opinion, were fights in which she was helped. Not that there is anything wrong with it – the company built it like every promotion [who] works the fighters they want to build – but I think she talks too much. A fight with Cris would be a farewell for her. There’s no way she’s fighting Cris.
“I would love to fight her, but I hope Cris gets the fight right and gets the job done.”
Garcia hasn’t fought in MMA since 2018, when she submitted Brazilian kickboxer Barbara Nepomuceno in the first round of their light heavyweight bout at RIZIN 14.
Garcia said she was no longer under contract with RIZIN, but was in talks with the company for a potential return to the upcoming New Years card in Japan, pending resolution of complications related to COVID-19 travel restrictions. in the country.
The undefeated fighter said RIZIN approached her with a few potential opponents, including Lei’D Tapa – a rematch of her MMA debut – and heavyweight boxer Danielle Perkins, who won gold at the world boxing championships. AIBA Women’s 2019 and holds a professional boxing record of 3-0 after an 11-1 amateur run.
Looking back on her MMA career, Garcia admitted that she “disagreed” with some of the decisions RIZIN has made in the past, including reserving Garcia against much older opposition in Japan. She acknowledged and “people always remember it”, but she still plans to resume her MMA run and fight “at least two or three more fights”.
“I am in negotiations with RIZIN,” Garcia said. “I don’t have a contract with RIZIN, I broke that contract, but I really like to fight there. I appreciate [Nobuyuki] Sakakibara and the Japanese public, but maybe I will fight here in the United States as well.