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Gabi Garcia gets next opponent for RIZIN

Gabi Garcia gets next opponent for Japan
Gabi Garcia, Destanie Yarbrough

RIZIN FF, headed by former PRIDE FC boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara, today revealed at a press conference the matchups for the three women’s fights on the Grand Prix event in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday, Sept. 25:
Heavyweight: Gabi Garcia vs. Destanie Yarbrough
Strawweight: Kanako Murata vs. Kyra Batara
Rena Kubota vs. Miyuu Yamamoto

The press release oddly referred to Gabi Garcia as a "ninth degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt." Garcia is a nine-time winner of the BJJ world championship, but at 30 is not a 9th degree black belt. What is this, Kenpo?! ;-)

The 6-foot-2, 30-year-old Garcia of Porto Alege, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil will look for her third consecutive MMA victory following her second round (2:04) submission (armbar) of Anna Malyukova at the RIZIN FF extravaganza on April 17. Yarbrough of Fresno, Calif. is a 5-foot-7, 28-year-old running back for the Women’s Football Alliance squad, the Central Cal War Angels, which finished its 2016 season with a perfect, 7-0 record. The stocky powerhouse led the league last season in both touchdowns and rushing yards.

A lifelong athlete, Yarbrough made an explosive, professional MMA debut on April 1, scoring a 33-second TKO (doctor stoppage) on Crystal Parson.

Destanie Yarbrough

Yarbrough looked skilled in her MMA debut. Given that pro wrestler Lei'D Tapa with 0 MMA fights rocked Garcia at the last Rizin, Yarbrough appears to have a shot here.

And Yarbrough looks skilled on the gridiron as well.

In the second women's fight, three-time junior Olympic wrestling medalist and undefeated MMA upstart Kanako Murata (3-0) will square off with Combate Americas MMA star Kyra “Mogwai” Batara (5-3) in a strawweight fight.

Rounding out the trio of women's fights, renowned shootboxing champion Rena Kubota (1-0) will fight famed women’s freestyle wrestling pioneer Miyuu Yamamoto (0-0), who will make her long-awaited MMA debut on the same card as her son, Asen Yamamoto (0-1). Miyuu, 42, a member of Japanese wrestling royalty, was married for several years to MMA pioneer Enson Inoue.

In addition, five new fighters have been added to the 16-man open weight tournament that will kick off and headline the September 25 event:
•Jiri “Denisa” Prochazka (17-3-1) of the Czech Republic
•Amir Aliakbari (2-0) of Iran
light heavyweight
•Teodorasu Aukstuolis (9-3) of Lithuania
•“King” Karl Albrektsson (5-0) of Sweden
•Valentine Moldavski (3-0) of Russia

Previously announced fighters in the 16 man Grand Prix include:
•Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (MMA: 31-11-1, 1 NC; Kickboxing: 23-8, 12 KO’s)
•Kazuyuki Fujita (15-11)
•Former sumo wrestling champion Baruto Kaito (1-0)

The tournament’s first stage matchups will be announced soon.