Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter Gabi Garcia was scheduled to fight retired Japanese professional wrestler Sinobui Kandori at a Rizin Fighting Federation promotion on Friday in Saitama, Japan. There was just one problem: Garcia weighed in at 237 pounds on Thursday, somewhere around 26 pounds over the 209-pound limit.
Nobuyuki Sakakibara, head of Rizin FF, wasn’t kidding around when he said “we cannot make this happen.” At that weight, Garcia would have been around 75 pounds heavier than her opponent, who is 53 years old and last fought an MMA bout 17 years ago. (Related: How on earth did such a fight get sanctioned in the first place?)
When the Rizin show started Friday in Saitama, Garcia and Kandori were absent from the opening roll call of the evening’s competitors, according to MMAFighting.com. But both eventually appeared before the crowd, with Garcia giving the fans a tearful apology:
That apparently wasn’t enough, so Garcia got down on her knees for even more remorse, apparently at the prodding of the Rizin FF officials on hand.
Later Friday, Garcia posted a photo on Instagram that showed her with a bloody towel. In the caption, she wrote that she refused to risk her health by cutting such an extreme amount of weight ahead of the bout:
Everyone is looking for an excuse, but when it comes to health and our lives they can say it’s anything.
My life first. …
Unfortunately a few days ago I measured my pressure and was high, I thought it was only that day.
When I got off the plane in Japan I went to my training and started to have a headache, my eyesight blurred and my nose bleeding all the time.
I warned my team, but I did not tell anyone because I did not give up.
After all my training, my nose was bleeding from leaving a towel next to it.
It was fine the night before and I decided to cut the weight the next morning, but I woke up with fever and again with my nose dripping, high blood pressure.
Too much stress before traveling, unfortunately I still do not control my body, but I control my decisions.
For those who have lost a brother, dying for a cut of weight would not be my choice. …
I chose to live.
No need to post any explanation, but no one knows what people are going through.
Do not judge.
She then expressed gratitude to Rizin officials for understanding her predicament.
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