MARCH 28, 2021, today all eyes were locked on Ontario, California, more specifically on Alliance’s Eastvale Jiu-Jitsu Gym, where the most talked-about grappling match of the year was supposed to take place. That of Australia’s pro-jiu-jitsu athlete Craig Jones (48-16-2) and the legendary female jiu-jitsu champion Gabi Garcia (70-6-0).
The match had been booked after Gabrielle challenged Craig Jones’ teammate, Gordon Ryan. Ryan appeared to not give too much credence to the challenge, but Jones took the match gladly, fully accepting the date laid out by Garcia.
The clash generated worldwide interest due to Gabriele’s incredible curriculum, size, and the fact she has never been submitted in her professional career. The most accomplished female athlete in the sport with 4 ADCC titles (the most important competition in no-gi grappling) and 6 IBJJF world titles, Garcia is also around 230 lbs and over 6 feet tall. Jones, on the other hand, competes in the 88-kilogram division (194 lbs) and has in his silver-medal at the 2019 ADCC tournament, his biggest achievement thus far, although he is also widely established as one of the most top athletes in the sport.
Set for today at 7 PM UTC+01, the match ended up not happening. The reasons for this postponement, given by both athletes at an ad hoc press-conference today, were that too many fans from Asian countries such as Japan and China did not have access to the western streaming platforms chosen by the production company. In an attempt to serve all fans across the globe, the two agreed to postpone the match – the date to be announced soon.
Although inter-gender matches have taken place in grappling in the past, these have never been between two professional athletes at the highest level of the sport.