Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) may have thrown her hat in the ring for the presidency, but last weekend she jumped into a different kind of ring when she laced up some boxing gloves to spar with UFC Champ Weili Zhang.
Gabbard, who worked to help Zhang get a visa from her native China, is seen in a video trading some serious shots with the UFC star.
In the TMZ video the sparring gets heated enough for MMA coach Duke Roufus to remind the combatants, “no elbows.”
Gabbard noted that sport is the perfect conduit to build relationships.
“There is so much conflict, sports like MMA have an opportunity to build relationships and help us get to know each other as people instead of the misunderstanding we see too often,” Gabbard said.
Zhang added, “Today I had the honor to meet and train with Miss @tulsigabbard and she is a very strong martial artist. We had a great training session taught by @coachdukeroufus and his team. It is a happy day when martial arts brings people together.”
Zhang has earned a 20-1 record and hopes to fight Kyrgyzstan’s southpaw, Valentina Shevchenko.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.