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On Second Thought, Garcia is Pretty Sure He Beat Phan, Is a Bit Put Off by All That Stuff Rogan Said


(Who’s to say what ‘Octagon control’ means, anyway? PicProps: UFC.com)

Among the warning signs that you may have won a bullshit decision, we’d think that A) The company being so unhappy that it decides to pay the other guy his win bonus anyway and B) A resulting internet beef on the subject between the top athletic official in Nevada and a shoot-from-the-hip stand-up comedian would both be pretty high on the list. That is to say nothing of the chorus of boos from the live crowd and your own trainer shrugging at you like “We’ll take it, dude,” in the cage after the announcement of the verdict. On their own, any one of those things would be bad enough, but together they make Leonard Garcia’s split decision victory over Nam Phan from last weekend look like an open-and-shut case of judging incompetence.

At the time even Garcia — who seems like a totally likable guy, by the way – admitted during his postfight interview that he didn’t think he deserved to win. Given a day or two to think about it however, he now tells MMA Fighting.com that after sitting down with Phan to watch the fight (awkward!) and then viewing it “approximately 15 times” since, he’s changed his mind. You know what? Fuck it, Garcia thinks he won that bad boy.


"I think I outscored him in the first and third rounds," Garcia tells our guy Ben Fowlkes. "I think that in the third round, I was dead tired, but I kept firing and kept pressing the action, and I was able to get a takedown as well."

Yeah, we’re gonna go ahead and suggest that Leonard Garcia is a little bit too emotionally close to this situation to be truly impartial. From where we’re sitting, he very obviously lost. The fact that he seemed to sway the judges by throwing more total punches (and being a little more demonstrative with them) is certainly not his fault, but at the risk of handing out some more unsolicited advice from the CagePotato PR firm, it’d probably just be best for him to take the money and run.

So many viewings of the fight from the UFC broadcast not only changed his opinion of his own performance, it also apparently gave Garcia some time to digest Joe Rogan’s repeated on-air criticisms and indictments of his technical striking game, at one point saying Garcia’s punching style would be better for “throwing rocks” than winning MMA fights.

"It bothers me to hear him say some of that stuff he said …,” Garcia says. “He talks about certain things that I do in the fight, but that’s just my fighting style. I don’t fight Joe Rogan’s fighting style. I apologize to Joe Rogan, but I can’t fight his style. That’s not my style of fighting. What makes me who I am is my style of fighting, and people seem to enjoy it. I’ve won several Fight of the Night (bonuses) because of it, and I enjoy fighting that way. I think it’s something the fans deserve, is to see two guys give it their all.”

The thing Garcia really regrets, he says, is taking the fight with Phan on a little less than two weeks notice. Previous to that, it’d been rumored that he would face former WEC fighter Tyler Toner – a guy who he’s occasionally worked out with at the Grudge Training Center in Colorado – and that he had to wait until after the semifinal episode of “The Ultimate Fighter” aired to find out he’d be taking on Phan.

Garcia says the late notice robbed him of the opportunity to shore up his technique, get in real fighting shape or even cook up a game plan for Phan. It’s one of the reasons he is so interested in giving Phan a rematch. It’s also why he says he told UFC President Dana White after the bout that he won’t be accepting any more late notice fights.

Look, we understand where Garcia is coming from – and frankly, taking short-notice fights really is a bad idea – but as a guy who is seen by both his boss and the public at large as having walked away with a win he didn’t deserve at the “TUF 12” finale, now is maybe not the best time to be making demands.

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Charming Charlie- December 8, 2010 at 2:02 am
I worry that if I were a judge, I would very routinely give the first and second rounds to opposite fighters, just so I could use the final round as a decider to pick the winner of the overall fight. Understandably I would get into trouble when my boss Fizer checks my work and sees me giving close rounds away 50% of the time, and sometimes making flat-out wrong decisions. I wouldn't be a judge very long, even if I was determined to avoid situations like this where a fighter gets robbed.
budsellers- December 7, 2010 at 8:02 pm
maybe it was a bad decision, maybe it wasn't. one thing is sure, this claim that phan out pointed garcia is based purely on a couple of websites that claim to count the striking statistics in the cage with the naked eye. none of the people working for those sites at ringside have a better vantage point than the judges and they may or may not be better trained either. in the end, we are just lay people trying to watch some fights so this is a waste of time. let's move on!
mDino- December 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm
I think the fight was closer than everyone thinks. When I watched it I could see how the judges scored rounds 1 and 3 for Garcia. The judges need to all evaluate fights using the same criteria, and be on the same page or else this will never stop happening.
Sudos KFC- December 7, 2010 at 3:23 pm
Garcia might not have known that he was fighting Phan, but he certainly knew he was fighting SOMEONE so I don't buy his excuse. He thought he would roll over a TUF alumni so he didn't train hard and what technique does leonard have to go over anyway? It wasn't a short notice fight for his conditioning.
KidDinomite- December 7, 2010 at 3:03 pm
The sad thing is, Garcia could probably be a really good fighter in the division but as it stands now, he's pretty low on the totem pole. He obviously doesn't have any will to be a champion as he doesn't learn any new techniques nor does he seem to want to tighten up his boxing and muay thai. I say if he loses his next two, he's outta the UFC.
Elentius- December 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm
He knew he was at least fighting somebody right? I mean not knowing at all and getting the call a week and a half out is one thing but knowing you are going to fight anyone is another. He should have trained for a fight and it is that simple. Oh and he lost no matter what his bumpkin ass thinks. I do think his style is exciting even though it is a bit reckless.
WrenJoRo- December 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm
My 8 year old sister better clean up her act.
anderson wanderlei paulo thiago alves silva- December 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm
phan is american with a asian face
Merlin- December 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm
Thanks "Chael Sonnens Balls" and I agree with you, if Phan would have just been the aggressor in the 3rd round or at least controlled the center of the Octagon it would have been a very straight forward victory for him.

Bottom line ... our Judges suck worse than your 8 year old sister.
Sudos KFC- December 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm
somewhere between no aggression and lots of precision (machida) and all aggression and no precision (garcia) is what should be supported. You cant backpedal all fight and you can't windmill either. there has to be a balance point between aggression and effectiveness.

it says EFFECTIVE striking not AGGRESIVE striking.
Almost North- December 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm
Asian fighters in America get judged like Korean fighters in Japan. Better finish every single fight boys.
Mofo- December 7, 2010 at 12:48 pm
Any serious discussion of Garcia is a waste of time. I can't believe they put that dude on televised fights, he gives MMA a really bad name. He's only good for comedic derision, which is CP's forte (and why I keep comin back).

Perfectly nice guy. But anyone who ends up off balance after every single punch is a fucking idiot. An amateur. Or maybe just really drunk. I can't believe Jackson even agrees to work with a guy who doesn't know the first thing about throwing hands.

He landed decent kicks and knees, no problem there. But his hands are completely embarrassing.

@Fried Taco: HAHAHAHAH! Exactly.
RwilsonR- December 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm
Leonard Garcia is right, though. His aggression did win him that third round in the eyes of the judges. That doesn't mean he deserved to win it, but that is what won it for him for the dumbshit judges.

The first round... I just don't see it.
Almost North- December 7, 2010 at 12:46 pm
so...if he came out and just did the windmill running towards Nam the entire time you would have scored it for Garcia? Since we are apparently counting strikes thrown at and landing only on air.
uzithrasha- December 7, 2010 at 11:59 am
aggression or not, his inaccuracy is what the judges should have been looking at, nam threw less strike then garcia but still managed to land more in every round. How does garcia not understand that. and i didnt really see garcia do anything on the ground besides let phan find a easy way out. i dont want to see a rematch because frankly, garcia doesnt deserve one with the way hes acting. and we all know how much rogan likes garcia, he talks about how awesome he is every fight.
Knee Deep- December 7, 2010 at 11:48 am
You don't have to shit on the man to disagree with him. I'll give him the aggression by default, I just don't rate it as high. Phan could have turned it up to work for a finish, he had opportunities. But in hindsight, I never saw Phan finishing him anyways, this is Leonard Garcia we're talking about.
El Guapo- December 7, 2010 at 11:30 am
If you're gonna shat on Garcia for saying his aggressive style in the last round won him the fight, regardless of how (in)effective you thought it was, you might wanna mention Pham's lack of aggression as a determinning factor as well. Just sayin..

Fried Taco- December 7, 2010 at 11:30 am
I pulled a girl down to the ground once for a second, but that doesn't mean I had sex with her.
Clue-by-Four- December 7, 2010 at 11:26 am
He thinks he won that fight? The delusion is strong in this one.
Stak40- December 7, 2010 at 11:15 am
^^That shit is funny^^

For once i agree with Rex!
MorningwoodII- December 7, 2010 at 11:12 am
"Chael Sonnens Balls" your logic is malfunctioning. Perhaps a prescription for synthetic logic would help you.
ReX13- December 7, 2010 at 11:08 am
For the record, i enjoy watching Garcia fight, and i consider myself a fan.  He's got heart, an intangible that most fans fall in love with, myself included.  Garcia did not deserve that win, in my humble opinion. 
rearnakedchickenchoke- December 7, 2010 at 11:00 am
I agree with Chael Sonnens Balls on all accounts.
cecils_pupils- December 7, 2010 at 10:58 am
I don't care how many time you re-watch the fight, Garcia's and Greg Jackson's facial expression says it all - even they could not believe that the judges gave it to them. Merry Christmas boys.
Knee Deep- December 7, 2010 at 10:56 am
Come on Leonard, you can keep firing and pressing the action and still lose the fight if your striking proves less effective than your opponents. "trying to disconnect his arms from their shoulder sockets right up until the final bell sounded" (Chael Sonnens Balls' words) only works if you are not getting your ass kicked (ie, landing more than the other guy).
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