July 14, 1979 |
Plainview, Texas, United States
|Other names||Bad Boy|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight||145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st)|
|Reach||69.5 in (177 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Lubbock, Texas|
|Team||Jackson's Submission Fighting, Team Alpha Male|
|Rank||brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu|
|Years active||1999–2003; 2006–present|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Leonard Garcia (born July 14, 1979 in Plainview, Texas) is an American mixed martial artist in the featherweight division of the Legacy Fighting Championship (LFC), where he is the champion. He previously worked for World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He trains at Jackson's Submission Fighting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Garcia was born and raised in Plainview, Texas. His mother gave birth to him when she was only 17 years old, and doctors had to inject steroids into Garcia's lungs because of a rare childhood illness. He was raised in his grandparent's home, who had a farm and, along with his uncles, helped raise the young Garcia. He attended Plainview High School, where he was a talented football player and had also been involved in martial arts and boxing. He had been planning to walk-on to the Texas Tech football team, when he was involved in a physical altercation with a recently released felon at a local restaurant. The man had a knife and stabbed Garcia eight times, twice puncturing his lungs, causing them to collapse. Had it not been for the steroid injections when he was an infant, Garcia believes that he would have died. Not long after the incident Garcia, who would not be able to continue his football career because of his wounds, found a dojo and found his new passion in fighting.
Mixed martial arts career
Garcia began his career in 1999, competing on the regional circuit in the Western United States. Garcia competed in the first WEC event back in 2001 at WEC 1. After compiling an impressive 8–1 beginning to his professional career, Garcia took a three year break.
Returning to action in 2006, Garcia was tabbed as a short notice replacement against high ranking contender Roger Huerta at UFC 69 where he lost a very one sided unanimous decision, after taking an awful lot of punishment throughout the fight.
Garcia then defeated Allen Berube by submission at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. In his next bout Garcia lost via decision to Cole Miller at UFC Fight Night 11. After going 1–2 with the UFC, Garcia was released from his contract.
World Extreme Cagefighting
Garcia defeated Hiroyuki Takaya via first round knockout at WEC 32. In his next fight, Leonard knocked out former undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion, Jens Pulver seventy-two seconds into first round at WEC 36.
On March 1, 2009, Garcia lost the WEC Featherweight Championship match against champion Mike Brown. Brown landed a huge overhand right, knocking Garcia down in the first 30 seconds of the fight, landed some ground and pound, and then secured a fight ending arm triangle choke.
Garcia was expected to face Diego Nunes on March 6, 2010 at WEC 47, but Nunes was forced from the card with an injury. Garcia instead faced former UFC fighter George Roop with the bout ending in a split draw.
Garcia faced WEC newcomer Chan Sung Jung on April 24, 2010 at WEC 48. Garcia replaced Cub Swanson who was forced from the card with an injury. The fight went the full three rounds and Garcia won in a controversial split decision. The fight won Fight of the Night honors, being hailed by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and announcer Joe Rogan as "the best fight I've seen in my life."
Ultimate Fighting Championship
In October 2010, World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As part of the merger, all WECfighters were transferred to the UFC. Now managed by VFD Marketing, Garcia was expected to face Tyler Toner at The Ultimate 12 Finale, but Garcia was pulled from the bout with Toner in favor of a bout with Nam Phan. Garcia won the fight via a controversial split decision. Garcia and Phan received Fight of the Night honors for their performances. This was the first televised featherweight bout in the UFC.
A rematch with Phan was expected on March 26, 2011 at UFC Fight Night 24. However, Phan was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Chan Sung Jung. Garcia lost to Jung in the second round, falling victim to the first twister submission in UFC history.
Garcia was expected to face The Ultimate Fighter 12 alumni Alex Caceres on August 14, 2011 at UFC on Versus 5. However, Garcia was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Jimy Hettes.
Garcia was expected to face Cody McKenzie on December 29, 2012 at UFC 155. However, McKenzie was forced out of the bout with an injury and was replaced by Max Holloway. Garcia lost the fight via a controversial split decision. While no official statement has been made by the UFC, Dana White said in his post fight interview after the UFC 155 press conference, that the UFC loves the fighters that lay it all out on the line.
Legacy Fighting Championship
On May 11, 2013, Garcia signed a Three fight deal with Legacy Fighting Championship a MMA Promotion based out of Texas. Garcia faced Rey Trujillo at Legacy FC 21 on July 19, 2013, He snapped his five fight losing streak winning via KO due to a head kick and punches in the third round.
On September 24, 2013 it was announced Garcia would face Kevin Aguilar for the Legacy FC Featherweight Championship on December 6, 2013 at Legacy FC 26. He won the fight via knockout in the first round to win the Legacy FC Featherweight Championship.
Garcia was expected to face Shane Howell for the Legacy FC Feathweight Championship at Legacy FC 29 on March 21, 2014, however, Howell fell ill hours before the event and the fight was pulled from the card.
In March 2008, Garcia was arrested as part of an alleged cocaine ring, which put his career on hold. According to Garcia, "I had a buddy, a really good friend of mine in Lubbock, and he was into things that weren't good," he said. "I knew about what the guy was up to but he was a friend of mine. The law says even if he's your friend, you are required to report on the guy. The other 11 guys, I didn't know any of them." Three months later, he was exonerated. In 1997, his sister Angelica, was killed in a car accident involving a drunk driver. Afterwards, Garcia limited his own drinking.
Garcia proposed to his girlfriend on March 21, 2014.
Championships and accomplishments
- Legacy Fighting Championship
- Legacy FC Featherweight Championship (One time, current)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|30 matches||18 wins||11 losses|
|Win||18–11–1||Kevin Aguilar||KO (punches)||Legacy FC 26||December 6, 2013||1||2:57||San Antonio, Texas, United States||Won the Legacy FC Featherweight Championship|
|Win||17–11–1||Nick Gonzalez||Submission (rear naked choke)||Legacy FC 23||September 13, 2013||1||4:43||San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|Win||16–11–1||Rey Trujillo||KO (head kick and punches)||Legacy FC 21||July 19, 2013||3||0:24||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Loss||15–11–1||Cody McKenzie||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 159||April 27, 2013||3||5:00||Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Loss||15–10–1||Max Holloway||Decision (split)||UFC 155||December 29, 2012||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||15–9–1||Matt Grice||Decision (unanimous)||UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall||June 8, 2012||3||5:00||Sunrise, Florida, United States|
|Loss||15–8–1||Nam Phan||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 136||October 8, 2011||3||5:00||Houston, Texas, United States||Fight of the Night|
|Loss||15–7–1||Jung Chan-Sung||Submission (twister)||UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis||March 26, 2011||2||4:59||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Win||15–6–1||Nam Phan||Decision (split)||The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale||December 4, 2010||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night|
|Loss||14–6–1||Mark Hominick||Decision (split)||WEC 51||September 30, 2010||3||5:00||Broomfield, Colorado, United States|
|Win||14–5–1||Jung Chan-Sung||Decision (split)||WEC 48||April 24, 2010||3||5:00||Sacramento, California, United States||Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year (2010).|
|Draw||13–5–1||George Roop||Draw (split)||WEC 47||March 6, 2010||3||5:00||Columbus, Ohio, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||13–5||Manny Gamburyan||Decision (unanimous)||WEC 44||November 18, 2009||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||13–4||Jameel Massouh||Decision (split)||WEC 42||August 9, 2009||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||12–4||Mike Brown||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||WEC 39||March 1, 2009||1||1:57||Corpus Christi, Texas, United States||For WEC Featherweight Championship|
|Win||12–3||Jens Pulver||TKO (punches)||WEC 36||November 5, 2008||1||1:12||Hollywood, Florida, United States||Knockout of the Night|
|Win||11–3||Hiroyuki Takaya||KO (punch)||WEC 32||February 13, 2008||1||1:31||Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States||Featherweight debut|
|Loss||10–3||Cole Miller||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Thomas vs Florian||September 19, 2007||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night|
|Win||10–2||Allen Berube||Submission (rear-naked choke)||The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale||June 23, 2007||1||4:22||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||9–2||Roger Huerta||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 69||April 7, 2007||3||5:00||Houston, Texas, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||9–1||Rocky Johnson||Submission (rear-naked choke)||ROF 23: Impact||April 1, 2006||1||4:58||Castle Rock, Colorado, United States|
|Win||8–1||Justin James||Submission (rear-naked choke)||ROF 7: Meltdown||March 28, 2003||1||2:28||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Win||7–1||Steve Horton||Submission (armbar)||ROF 4: Warriors||March 15, 2002||1||0:33||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Win||6–1||Víctor Estrada||KO (head kick)||WEC 1||June 30, 2001||2||0:54||Lemoore, California, United States|
|Win||5–1||Jake Hattan||Submission (guillotine choke)||ROF 2: Trial By Fire||February 10, 2001||2||1:46||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Win||4–1||Shawn Simpson||Submission (triangle choke)||ROF 2: Trial By Fire||February 10, 2001||1||0:32||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Win||3–1||Brent Medley||Submission (triangle choke)||Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 18||November 25, 2000||1||3:59||Amarillo, Texas, United States|
|Win||2–1||Puma Green||Submission (armbar)||Ring of Fire 1||March 18, 2000||1||2:15||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Loss||1–1||Brent Medley||Decision||Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 15||May 1, 1999||1||20:00||Dumas, Texas, United States|
|Win||1–0||Chris Cantrell||Submission (armbar)||Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 15||May 1, 1999||1||1:28||Dumas, Texas, United States|
- "WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo results". www.wec.tv/index.cfmom. 2009-11-19.
- "Leonard Garcia and Diego Nunes agree to WEC 47 bout". mmajunkie.com. 2010-01-18.
- "Injury forces Diego Nunes to withdraw from WEC 47 on March 6 in Columbus". mmamania.com. 2010-02-18.
- "George Roop tapped as late replacement, faces Leonard Garcia at WEC 47". mmajunkie.com. 2010-02-20.
- "Leonard Garcia Replaces Cub Swanson, Fights Jung at WEC 48 in April". mmafrenzy.com. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
- "Mark Hominick vs. Leonard Garcia on tap for WEC 51 in September". MMAjunkie.com. 2010-08-07.
- "UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011; events to air on Versus and Spike TV". mmajunkie.com. October 28, 2010.
- "VFD Marketing MMA Management". VFDMarketing.com. 2013-04-05.
- "Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan slotted for The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale". mmajunkie.com. Dec 1, 2010.
- "TUF 12 Finale Results: Garcia Defeats Phan in Highly Controversial Split Decision". MMAWeekly.com. December 4, 2010.
- "Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan 2 Headed to UFC Fight Night 24". MMAWeekly.com. January 10, 2011.
- "UFC Fight Night 24: Leonard Garcia vs Chan Sung Jung booked with Nam Phan injured". mmamania.com. March 16, 2011.
- "Alex Caceres vs. Leonard Garcia slotted for UFC on Versus 5". MMAjunkie.com. May 25, 2011.
- "Leonard Garcia out, Jim Hettes in against "Bruce Leroy" at UFC on Versus 5". MMAjunkie.com. August 2, 2011.
- "UFC 136 Fight Card: The Rematch That Never Was, Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia". MMAWeekly.com. September 7, 2011.
- "With Leonard Garcia hurt, Tiequan Zhang meets newcomer Issei Tamura at UFC 144". mmajunkie.com. February 12, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- "Leonard Garcia vs. Matt Grice set for UFC on FX 3". mmajunkie.com. March 29, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
- "Leonard Garcia vs. Cody McKenzie added to December's UFC 155 event". MMAjunkie.com. November 3, 2012.
- "Max Holloway replaces injured Cody McKenzie, faces Leonard Garcia at UFC 155". MMAjunkie.com. December 19, 2012.
- "Dana White: “There’s No Way in Hell We’re Cutting Leonard Garcia!”". mmaweekly.com. December 30, 2012.
- Mike Bohn (2013-03-03). "Leonard Garcia vs. Cody McKenzie rebooked for UFC 159 on April 27". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2013-03-03.
- "Leonard Garcia and Bart Palaszewski confirm UFC releases". mmajunkie.com. May 8, 2013.
- "Leonard Garcia signs with Texas based promotion Legacy FC, Debuts July 19". sherdog.com. May 11, 2013.
- "Legacy FC 23, Fight Card". sherdog.com. July 19, 2013.
- "Leonard Garcia and Kevin Aguilar Featherweight Title Tilt Tops Legacy FC 26". sherdog.com. September 24, 2013.
- "Illness pulls Howell from Leonard Garcia fight at Legacy FC 29, but Garcia gets engaged (updated)". mmajunkie.com. March 21, 2014.
- Dave Meltzer (2009-02-27). "After fighting feds, Garcia ready for Brown". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
- Meltzer, Dave (January 26, 2011). "Biggest issue of the year: The 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards Issue". Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Campbell, CA): 1–40. ISSN 1083-9593.