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26 Mar, 2021 11:21

Let’s grapple: ‘She Hulk’ to fight male MMA foe who is a stone lighter & foot shorter than her in ‘Intergender World Championship’

Let’s grapple: ‘She Hulk’ to fight male MMA foe who is a stone lighter & foot shorter than her in ‘Intergender World Championship’

Famed grappler Craig Jones has revealed that he is taking on giant jiu-jitsu hall-of-famer Gabi Garcia in an intergender fight this Sunday, promising to broadcast the action from one of the most unlikely MMA match-ups ever.

The pair are widely regarded as among the best practitioners of Brazilian jiu-jitsu currently operating, with Garcia an eight-time world champion who is unbeaten in six MMA contests and Jones a breakthrough star known for his unconventional, non-traditional approach that has seen him beat the likes of UFC favorite Chael Sonner, Murilo Santana and Lo.

Known as the 'She Hulk', Garcia has a total of 10 titles – Jones is yet to win one – and, according to the promotional poster for the impromptu scrap, will tower over her new rival at a stated standing of 6ft6 and 285lbs.

Garcia has confirmed that the fight is taking place in between sharing clips of herself looking ripped and taking part in the training she dedicates most of her waking hours to, while Jones, who competed on Sonnen's Submission Underground promotion, told his fans that his retirement, which he had been expected to declare imminently, will definitely happen if he loses.

“Sunday, flying into LA to fight Gabi Garcia,” said the 37-year-old, publishing the poster which includes the pronouns the fighters wish to be known by.

“We’ll do a no-time-limit match in her gym and we’ll stream that free, supposedly. 100 percent. Hopefully [it goes] well for me.

"Otherwise, if I lose, I’ll retire. If I lose to Gabi I’ll retire. Just no time limit, sub only.

"Obviously, a lot of people think it’s a joke, but just because of the interest we thought, 'why not?' Jump in."

Garcia has fought all but one of her fights for RIZIN, although she has not competed since December 2018, when she submitted Barbara Nepomuceno in the first round.

The short-notice contest has split fans on social media, with some claiming the novelty bout would attract huge viewing figures and admitting their intrigue while others have voiced misgivings over a man fighting a woman and slated the spectacle as a farce.

"Have to think a loss really hurts his chances," one said of Jones. "Is he aware of what’s on the line?"

"What the f*** is this?" asked UFC welterweight Philip Rowe, responding to another playful promotional poster published by Jones, showing him wearing a leotard while Garcia towers over him in boxing gloves.

"Three days until judgement day," wrote Jones on Thursday, causing Garcia to reply with a sleeping emoji that appeared to represent her concussive approach towards the substantially smaller fighter in their showdown.

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