By CagePotato Contributor Michael Sanchez
Bantamweights beware. Radames Garcia is looking to destroy your dreams. Ranked number one in the nation and sporting an amateur record of 9-1, all he is waiting for is a chance to make his pro debut.
“My last two opponents pulled out. My coach said one of them thought I was too big,” Garcia said.
The 29-year old native of Miami, Florida is fighting out of Cung Le’s gym in San Jose, California. In a little more than two years, Garcia managed to win two state titles in the amateur leagues of both California and Nevada.
Garcia first learned about MMA from a conversation with his co-worker. He invited Garcia to train with him at Tribull Mixed Martial Arts Center.
“At first, I thought it was illegal. I wanted to make sure it was legit. I had no clue about it at the time and I didn’t want the cops to bust down the doors and end up in jail,” Garcia laughed.
Garcia went and was hooked. He walked into Tribull in July 2010 and had his first fight in November. Garcia ended up losing by submission. He later parted ways to train at Cung Le’s.
“Tribull focused more on grappling than stand-up,” said Garcia, “my hands were wild so my coaches and other fighters recommended me to Cung Le. So, I took a level one kickboxing class over there and I liked it.”
In the beginning of February 2011, Garcia enrolled in Cung’s school and had his second amateur fight on the 20th. He won by submission.
Garcia continued to train and rapidly rose through the ranks, eventually winning the 2011 California State Championships and the Nevada State Championships in Reno.
Garcia never expected to win any titles.
“It never came to mind. I just wanted to compete in a sport. I thought this was a cool opportunity to challenge myself and compete.”
And that exactly is his motivation to continue in this sport.
“I just want to compete and impress the crowd. I just want to get in the cage and hit somebody in the face and not get in trouble for it. It’s fun. I’m just smiling and high-fiving the crowd while my opponent is going all 8-Mile with his hoodie on and being all angry.” Garcia said.
One opponent was particularly angry. After Garcia’s victory, he learned his opponent’s goal was to remain undefeated and become a UFC champion. Garcia was then bestowed the moniker of “The Dream Crusher” by his fight team.
However, “The Dream Crusher” has his own dreams in MMA.
“I would love to win a pro title in any league. I was hoping Strikeforce but it’s going out of business. I now just want to keep beating undefeated fighters,” Garcia said.