The 2021 edition of the IBJJF world championships have been eventful for the women’s divisions as Gabi Garcia was not only submitted for the first time since being promoted to black belt well over a decade ago, but she also retires from gi competition. Garcia was promoted to black belt all the way back in 2008 by the legendary Alliance founder Fabio Gurgel, and had already spent years without having to tap on the competitive circuit by that time. Her dominance as a purple and brown belt translated to the top tier of professional Jiu-Jitsu competition practically immediately, and she quickly became known as the queen of the heaviest weightclass.
Over the course of her career, Gabi Garcia earned four ADCC world championships and six IBJJF world championships so her legacy was already secure regardless of who might have submitted her or when she retires from the sport. She was the heavy favorite coming into the IBJJF world championships this year but the cracks were already starting to show prior to this when she lost a convincing decision to Amanda Leve at the WNO Championships. Regardless, it was still surprising to see Yara Soares dominate the match with Garcia and eventually submit her with a step-over gi choke from the top.
Shortly after this loss, Garcia announced that she would be retiring from IBJJF competition altogether, although she would still be attempting to defend her title at the upcoming 2022 ADCC world championships. She also mentioned that she will be concentrating on her MMA career and will continue to compete, just not wearing a gi anymore. With this in mind, it remains to be seen whether the legendary match between Garcia and Craig Jones will actually come to fruition at any event in the future.
Watch below for the moment that Gabi Garcia was submitted for the first time since being a purple belt all those years ago, not long before she retires from IBJJF competition. The full match is available to watch on FloGrappling, click here to subscribe and watch.