Gabi “She Hulk” Garcia: Top 5 MMA Finishes

Hall of Famer, Gabrielle “Gabi” Lemos Garcia (aka “She Hulk”) is a 6′ 2” (1.87m), heavyweight giant at 235lb (106kg). She’s a 9 x World Jiu-Jitsu gold medalist, 8 x pro world champion, 11 x pan American champ, and the first woman ever to win four ADCC (Submission Fighting World) Championships. She’s among a rare breed of professional, female MMA fighters – born November 17, 1985 – in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Since 2008, she has amassed an incredible tally of 24 gold medals from competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments and ADCC championships.

She stands undefeated in pro-MMA with 6 victories piled up in the last six years of her professional career. Armed with a diverse range of fight styles, her repertoire includes BJJ, shoot boxing, boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, and kickboxing, and she also holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Gabi is trained by a 4-time World Jiu-Jitsu Champion, Fabio Duca Gurgel do Amarai of the world-renowned Alliance Jiu-Jitsu team.

Gabi has also appeared in the Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission fighting world championship where she emerged victorious 4 times. The ADCC is considered the most prestigious submission combat sports promotion where rules disallow strikes, instead focusing on the arts of grappling and submissions.

As mentioned, Gabi has won 9 World Jiu-Jitsu Championships to date winning the first tournament in the year 2008 at the IBJJF World Heavyweight Finals where she fought Maria do Carmo.

She turned to mixed martial arts at the Rizin Fighting World Grand Prix 2015 where she defeated newcomer Lei’D Tapa via TKO in the first round. In the early moments of the match, Gabi was rocked by Tapa but eventually managed to finish proceedings with a back fist.

Of the people who criticized her striking style she said: “People thought I’d box like Manny Pacquiao and kick like Anderson Silva, but that’s not how things work.”

The heavyweight wrestler faced regular criticism for having a size advantage over her opponents saying; “I understand the expectation around my MMA career, but I believe that those who criticized me for my first fight will applaud me in the future. What I went through in jiu-jitsu makes me calm.”

She made her shoot boxing debut in 2017 against Megumi Yabushita, a Japanese kickboxer and mixed martial artist. Gabi Garcia dislocated her opponent’s shoulder with two illegal soccer kicks, and the bout was declared a no contest.

“People criticized me so much that it doesn’t bother me anymore. I can handle that today,” she reflected.

She has paid a great toll to get where she is today. “It took me 16 years to win my first gold medal in jiu-jitsu, so I wouldn’t be the best in MMA with just one fight,” she recalled.

Gabi went on to fight in a grappling contest, WNO (Who’s #1) held in Austin, Texas (on Feb. 26, 2021) where she lost the match against fellow Brazilian Nathiely de Jesus.

Still, that didn’t stop her from calling out current male no-gi king, Gordon Ryan in a fiery interview for a first inter-gender grappling contest. “Gordon, any time man. I think it’s an easier fight against you than against these girls, they’re small so it’s hard for me, but against you…Let’s go man…”  (Note: a fight between Gabi and Ryan’s teammate, Craig Jones, had been scheduled last month [for March 28] but was postponed.)

Over the years, Gabi has trained with the best in the business including UFC Heavyweight Champions Fabricio Werdum and Rafael dos Anjos. She also received this piece of advice from legend Anderson ‘Spider’ Silva before her debut MMA match; “When you get punched and see like three or four opponents in front of you, aim at one of them.”

Now you’ve got the back story on the Brazilian fighter, let’s get into the hotlist of her best, jaw-dropping finales as we breakdown Gabi “She Hulk” Garcia’s Top 5 MMA Finishes! (in descending order)

5. Vs. Anna Malyukova – RIZIN FF1 (April 17, 2016)

This match took place at Nippon Gaishi Hall, Nagoya Japan.

Gabi pummeled her opponent with heavy, iron-like hands until she lost balance and stumbled to the ground in the opening moments of the first round.

At 1 minute, 40 seconds in, Garcia pounded one punch after another as the Russian fighter seemed to have no idea what hit her.

At 4 minutes, 5 seconds, Gabi ratcheted up her strikes upon Anna’s face with hammer fists and hard-hitting jabs. The entire round was a dominant showing from the ‘She Hulk’.

Within 15 seconds of round two, Gabi went after Anna for the takedown and after getting the mount, she again mercilessly pounded her with massive punches before clamping on an armbar. By 2 minutes, 5 seconds in, Anna had tapped out and it was all over.

4. Vs. Destanie Yarbrough – RIZIN World GP (Sept. 25, 2016)

This time Gabi was up against American heavyweight, Destanie Yarbrough at Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

After a low kick from Destanie, Gabi threw left and right hooks toward Destanie in retaliation at 18 seconds into round one.

The fighters grappled at the side of the cage as Gabi attacked with powerful knees into Yarbrough’s core.

At 1 minute, 50 seconds in, Gabi hurled quick blows to Destanie’s face adding in a driving knee to the head. She continued the beatdown with a combination of hammer fists and jabs.

Gabi then put on the “Americana” submission (also known as the figure-four armlock, bent armlock, or hammer lock) forcing Destanie to tap at 2 minutes, 42 seconds of round one.

3. Vs. Barbara Nepomuceno – RIZIN 14 (Dec. 31, 2018)

Barbara Nepomuceno, another Brazilian fighter, faced a grave challenge in Gabi Garcia for her debut match at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan.

Garcia bowed to the Japanese crowd as a token of respect before the match got underway. With huge, bulky biceps the ‘She Hulk’ had no doubt already rung alarm bells in the mind of her opponent!

At 27 seconds into round one, Garcia blasted her opponent with huge right and left hand punches as Barbara took guard, stumbling back to the side of the cage. The sheer size and tremendous power of Garcia was just too much for the inexperienced Barbara.

At 50 seconds into the round, Gabi made further inroads with another attack involving solid punches and concrete knees as Barbara tried to close in the distance and destabilize the ruthless radar of the ‘She Hulk’. Barbara threw a right hand hook which, though lethal, was nonetheless quickly overcome by Garcia’s watertight defense.

At 1 minute, 40 seconds, Garcia went for a takedown which she got with ease and squashed down upon Barbara’s face with brutal, sliding heavy elbows, along with loaded punches.

Gabi proceeded to put on a painful keylock submission move and at 2 minutes, 35 seconds, Barbara tapped out and the referee intervened.

2. Vs. Veronika Futina – Road FC 47 (May 12, 2018)

This match saw Gabi up against Russian debutant, Veronika Futina at Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China.

In the early moments of round one, Futina threw a few punches but they missed their target by a whisker. Gabi fought back with left and right hooks as she drove Veronika toward the edge of the cage.

Futina soon regrouped going after Gabi with a couple of punches. For a moment or two, she appeared successful pushing her opponent back a little before Garcia’s trademark sheer might resurfaced.

At 1 minute, 30 seconds into round one, Gabi went in for the takedown accompanied by an audibly aggressive exertion of force. Gabi mounts Veronika and unleashes a rapid sequence of punches to her face. Though short-lived, Futina showed courage with a display of strength, keeping herself moving despite having a ‘She Hulk’ on her back!

However, it proved nigh on impossible for the Russian debutant to get away unscathed now. Gabi went for back control and got the rear naked choke cinched in, executing the choke to perfection. Veronika Futina had no choice but to tap out at 3 minutes and 49 seconds of round one.

1. Vs. Lei’D Tapa – RIZIN FW GP (Dec. 31, 2015)

Gabi’s debut match saw her lock horns with the “Queen of Rings” Lei’D Tapa from Tonga.

The heavyweights charged aggressively at the outset, each determined to taste first blood.

Tapa dropped a bombshell at 10 seconds in with a brutal left-hand jab that sent ‘She Hulk’ to the ground.

As expected, Gabi fought back courageously, getting back to her feet and wasting no time in closing the distance between her and her opponent until out of harm’s way.

Gabi collects her senses and fires off ruthless punches at 50 seconds into round one. Tapa fights back with a lightning-quick left hook whilst ‘She Hulk’ rains down another flurry of jabs and hooks which Tapa cleverly moves away from.

At this point, it was anyone’s guess as to who was owning the bout. But then the switch of a brutal assault by Gabi flicked on as she grounded her opponent with left and right hand jabs, and a backfist to boot.

The ‘She Hulk’ then mounted over the grounded Tapa, blitzing her face with unrelenting right-hand jabs knocking Tapa out at 2 minutes, 36 seconds at which point the referee intervened.

This match is ranked as the No.91 Best MMA Knockout of the Year, 2015.

So, there we have it folks, 5 of Gabi Garcia’s Best MMA Finishes! With her solid record of 6 wins with 2 TKO/KO’s and 4 submissions, where would you rank her among the Best Heavyweight Women Fighters of All Time? (Remember she’s not only solely about MMA!)

From the list above, what’s your favourite ‘She Hulk’ combat moment? And…Which fighter should be KFK’d next? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram.  

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Atif Khan is an MA graduate in International Journalism from Cardiff University. He is keenly Interested in learning about all types of martial arts and their essence in cultivating strong physical and mental strength. He's always been fascinated by Chinese kung fu pioneers along with their mystical animal styles, forms and poses, and their hard work philosophy leading to a balanced way of life.

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