Gabi Garcia has just been recognised by USA Judo as being the rank of Shodan, or first degree black belt, in Judo. She is one of the most successful female BJJ competitors in the history of the sport and has been a permanent fixture on the podium of major tournaments for what feels like forever at this point. She has won more ADCC titles than any other person at four, being tied with Marcelo Garcia for the record, and has won an impressive six IBJJF world championships throughout her career as well.
She won her first major title at the 2008 IBJJF world championships and only decided to retire from IBJJF competition in 2021. Garcia made another attempt at glory shortly after that tournament at the ADCC world championships in that same year. She lost in the semi-final to the eventual champion Amy Campo and had to settle for a bronze medal in the end, stopping just short of making history as the only five-time divisonal champion at ADCC. It remains to be seen whether or not Garcia will have another attempt at ADCC 2024 but as a multiple-time champion and returning medallist, it’s undoubtable that she would be given an invite if she was interested in returning.
Garcia didn’t just stop there though, as she also embarked upon a successful professional MMA career for a few years as well. She fought primarily for Rizin FF in Japan and over exactly three years, she put together a perfect 6-0 (1) record. Although Garcia hasn’t competed in MMA since the end of 2018, she has actually been open recently about her intention to return to the sport in the near-future. These plans might actually have been part of why Gabi Garcia has chosen to put more time in standing grappling recently and get back into Judo.
Garcia started out doing the sport as a child before getting involved in Jiu-Jitsu and originally got her black belt in it all the way back in 2010, but is now recognised by USA Judo as a first degree black belt in the sport as well. She received the certificate recognising her achievement along with her friend and training partner, Mayra Mazza.
Gabi Garcia announced the news that she had been recognised as a black belt in Judo by USA Judo in a recent post to her official Instagram account:
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