MMA heavyweight Gabi Garcia has sparked backlash in the fight world after calling out lightweight Kayla Harrison — who weighs almost 40kg less than her.
The Brazilian — nicknamed “She Hulk” — took to Twitter to attack Harrison, who won the Professional Fighters League lightweight championship in 2019.
Watch UFC action with ESPN on KAYO. Stream full Fight Night events live plus prelim fights for PPV events. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly
Garcia, 35, tweeted: “I am waiting 3 years for @KaylaH tell me how much she wants me to cut weight to accept the fight! Just excuses and joke here!”
The 188cm jiu-jitsu and grappling champion regularly weighs in at close to 100kg and has won six of her seven pro MMA bouts, with one ending in a no-contest.
Garcia made headlines in 2016 when she fought Yumiko Hotta, a pro wrestler with little fighting experience. Hotta was outweighed by 20kg and gave away 20cm in height.
The farcical fight lasted just 41 seconds as Garcia took it to the floor and pounded her way to victory.
But Harrison, 30, was in no mood to forget about the infamous mismatch.
She replied to Garcia: “Lol we talking real fighting now not some staged fight.
“How about beat someone that isn’t picked from the old folks home and has a real heartbeat and then you can put my name in your mouth.
“Until then watch me win another mil.”
Garcia took the bait, replying: “I made more money than you winning without a sweat but now you are disrespecting the other girls I fought!
“Do you want to put your single million and I will put a million also to make this fight? Or will you make an excuse”
“U are a joke!”
Fellow MMA star Liv Parker also hit out at Garcia in the midst of her feud with Harrison.
“She (Harrison) would probably be more interested in a quality opponent,” Parker tweeted.
“If you want to talk jokes, you (Garcia) are the one fighting 50+ year old has-been wrestlers who are 1/4th your size and weight.”
Flyweight Tara LaRosa defended Garcia, prompting another crack from Parker.
“Do you really think she (Garcia) can be taken seriously given her track record?” she added.
“I also know how hard the women before me, yourself included, have fought to pave the way for women in the sport & her antics just feed the critics even more. Not who I want repping me as a female fighter.
“Just my opinion though … just hard to respect how she has carried herself.”
Harrison is considered one of the most successful female fighters of all time, with two Olympic gold medals to her name in judo.
The American, who used to train with UFC legend Ronda Rousey, has since gone 8-0 since her MMA debut in 2018.
This article first appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission