You know, we may have had our fun at Leonard Garcia‘s expense over the years, but when it was passed along that his fighter profile had finally, mercifully been removed from UFC.com’s master list this morning, we were filled with an unexpected sense of dread — the ending of Old Yeller comes to mind.
While it’s true that you could easily fault Garcia for being entertaining to his own detriment (not unlike Chris Lytle, although “Lights Out” did manage to break the .500 mark by the end of his UFC career), it would hard to blame the man himself for being gifted a few decisions or overstaying his welcome in the UFC; Garcia simply showed up when told, always made weight, and put on as entertaining a fight as humanly possible. That’s more than most past or present UFC employees can say, and the fact that Leonard managed to do all this without once testing positive for a banned substance or steroids* should only improve his much grumbled about reputation in the organization.
Unfortunately, Garcia’s 2-7 record in the promotion did little to raise said reputation, hence the removal of his profile — along with the profiles of a few other fighters that we’ll get to in a second — from UFC.com. Dana White had mentioned that Garcia’s UFC future was “not looking good” following his fifth straight loss to Cody McKenzie at UFC 159 last month, so it was only a matter of time before this news broke. With the loss, Garcia joins such company as Steve Cantwell, Elvis Sinosic, and John Alessio as the only UFC fighters to suffer five straight losses in the UFC.
Best of luck, Leonard. Hopefully you can get a couple confidence-boosting wins on the local circuit and work your way back up to the top, because the UFC could always use another fighter who puts the fans before him/herself.
As we mentioned, Garcia’s profile was only one of many to be removed from UFC.com earlier today, so join us after the jump to check out the full list of vitims.
Bart Palaszewski: The longtime MMA veteran kicked off his UFC career with a Knockout of the Night-earning blitzkrieg of Tyson Griffin, but has gone winless since, dropping decisions to Hatsu Hioki and Diego Nunes before being choked out by Cole Miller at the TUF 17 Finale in April.
Justin Lawrence: The TUF 15 knockout artist also came out steaming in his UFC debut, KO’ing castmate John Kofer in a FOTN and KOTN-earning performance at the season’s finale. But like “Bartimus,” “The American Kid” has gone winless since, first getting TKO’d by Max Holloway at UFC 150 then quickly submitted by Daniel Pineda at the TUF 17 Finale.
Sam Sicilia: Pretty much the same story as Lawrence — TUF 15 alum, started his UFC career with a KO at the finale, dropped his past two. Moving along.
Reuben Duran: 1-3 in the UFC, Duran has dropped his past two fights to Hugo Viana (via KO) and George Roop (via UD) at the TUF 16 Finale and UFC 158, respectfully.
Issei Tamura: 1-2 in the UFC, Tamura saw his promotional debut knockout of Tiequan Zang at UFC 144 negated by a pair of KO losses to Raphael Assuncao and T.J. Dillashaw at UFC on FUEL 4 and UFC 158.
Kurt Holobaugh: Now this one kind of sucks. Not only did this poor bastard have to face Pat Healy — the same Pat Healy who was supposed to be fighting for a title — on short notice in his first and only Strikeforce appearance at the promotion’s final event, but then he gets brought to the UFC, again, on incredibly short notice, and loses a close decision to Steve Siler in a pretty entertaining scrap. And his reward for jumping on two count ‘em two grenades? A few grand and a place in the unemployment line. Tough break kid, but we’re guessing job security isn’t one of the reasons you became a fighter in the first place.
**Unless, of course, you used to be a man and are now a woman and failed to disclose that fact to an athletic commission. Then it DEFINITELY matters.
Garcia and Palaszewski’s releases have been confirmed by MMAMania and Garcia’s Twitter account.