Gabi Garcia 28 Pounds Overweight for Rizin Bout in Shocking Weigh-in Fail

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2017

SAITAMA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 25:  Gabi Garcia of Brazil enters the ring prior to the women's bout against Destanie Yarbrough of the United States during the RIZIN Fighting World GP 2016 Open weight tournament 1st Round at the Saitama Super Arena on September 25, 2016 in Saitama, Japan.  (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

The Rizin FF fight between women's heavyweight Gabi Garcia and 53-year-old pro wrestler-turned-politician Shinobu Kandori was already a strange one, but things got weirder at Thursday morning's weigh-in. In one of the worst weigh-in misses to ever take place in a major MMA promotion, Garcia tipped the scale at 237 pounds, a whopping 28 pounds over the 209-pound weight limit.

The egregious blunder left fans and media in attendance surprised, and Kandori—who checked in at 162 pounds—was incensed on stage:

Update- 5:10 a.m., ET

The bout between Kandori and Garcia was officially cancelled just a few hours before the event. Garcia and Kandori both took the microphone during Thursday night's event, with Garcia suggesting she had health issues that forced her to abandon the cut. Rizin spokesperson Nobuhiko Takada suggested that the fight may be rescheduled for 2018.

--End of Update--

Kandori and Garcia have had a bitter rivalry since the two were first scheduled to fight in 2016. That bout was canceled due to Kandori suffering a rib injury, but the animosity between the two lingered on as Garcia instead faced Yumiko Hotta, a friend and former rival of Kandori. 

While this beef can partly be chalked up to Rizin's pro-wrestling-inspired promotional style, the two have had some seemingly authentic scuffles that suggest it may be legitimate.

Whether the feud will ultimately be resolved remains a mystery. Nobuyuki Sakakibara took the microphone at the weigh-in to suggest the fight would be scrapped, per MMAJunkie.com, which came to fruition 16 hours later.

Kandori (right) cornered Yumiko Hotta for her 2016 fight with Garcia.
Kandori (right) cornered Yumiko Hotta for her 2016 fight with Garcia.Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Kandori, Garcia and Takada all discussed the turn of events, with Garcia tearfully apologizing to the fans in attendance: 

Regardless, Garcia coming in 28 pounds overweight for the bout is easily among the worst weigh-in gaffes in MMA history.

While 28 pounds isn't the widest miss ever (Legacy FC's Gerald Harris smashed an opponent that came in 50 pounds heavy in 2016), it's rare to see fighters in major promotions off by more than a few pounds. Garcia missing weight this badly ahead of a highly controversial, but heavily promoted, fight in one of the biggest events on Rizin FF's calendar is a uniquely huge blunder.

What comes next for either woman is unclear, as Kandori likely won't want to face an opponent that will have a 70-pound weight advantage on her while Garcia likely won't want to cut 30 pounds for an opponent whose name adds little to her resume. An official decision will likely come in the next few months.