Full Fight: Rafa Garcia vs Humberto Bandenay
February 26, 2020
Vanesa has been training judo for most of her life, starting at age six when her parents wanted her to find an activity to help with her self esteem. Martial arts, by their reasoning, would also teach her self defense. Vanesa quickly fell in love with judo and vigorously pursued the discipline, nearly making the Sydney Olympics in 2000. She got the nickname “Xikitina” (slang for tiny girl) because she is so small in stature.
After a long and decorated career, Vanesa retired from the national judo team in 2008. She kept herself in the game by coaching and competing sporadically, but fell in love with a new sport when her coach introduced her to kickboxing and MMA in 2011. That has been her focus in the years to follow and she’s committed to her craft.
Outside of fighting, Vanesa keeps busy by teaching judo in her native Spain. Her downtime, what little there is of it, is typically spent shopping or hanging out with her friends, as well as her cat Ryoto, named after the legendary judoka from Japan. She also maintains a friendship with Combate 19 headliner Paulina Granados, even though they may have to fight in the future.