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Tag: Leonard Garcia

By the Way, Leonard Garcia is *Defending* a (Legacy FC) Title Soon


(Garcia upsets Kevin Aguilar to win the LFC featherweight title last December. Highlights via AXS TV.)

2013 may have been a toss up between “The Year of the Rhino,” “The Year of the California Kid,” and “The Year of the Ruthless“(?), but there was one former UFC star who perhaps had the greatest career turnaround of them all: Leonard Garcia. Sure, the back-to-back-to-back stoppage victories Garcia picked up under the Legacy FC banner pale in comparison to the high-level wins of the other candidates, but none of those guys were coming off five straight losses either.

Yes, after kicking off last year by getting kicked out of the UFC following a loss to Cody “Tags” McKenzie at UFC 159, Garcia signed with Legacy Fighting Championships and proceeded to go on a three fight tear capped off by a first round TKO over the previously undefeated Kevin Aguilar at LFC 27 that earned him the promotion’s featherweight title. While it might not be the crowning achievement of his career, at least Garcia had to earn the damn thing (*cough* Rousimar Palhares *cough*).

Any which way you look at it, Garcia had a hell of a 2013. And on March 21st, “Bad Boy” will look to keep his win streak going when he faces Bellator and KOTC veteran Shane Howell at Legacy FC 27 in what will hopefully be his first title defense. Not that we have a dog in this fight or anything.

Don’t let Howell’s mediocre 13-7 record fool you, the Oklahoman has been on an absolute tear as of late. Currently riding a six-fight win streak with five finishes and nine victories in his past ten bouts, Howell should easily make for Garcia’s toughest test since exiting the UFC. So yeah, it’s 2014 and Leonard Garcia is *defending* the title of a semi-reputable organization. Who saw that coming?

Legacy FC 27 will also feature a light heavyweight title fight between Paul Buentello — who is enjoying something of a career revival at 205 lbs. to his credit — and Myron Dennis, as well as the return of TUF 12 winner Jonathan Brookins at flyweight.

-J. Jones

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Nick Newell Chokes Out Sabah Fadai, and Other Weekend MMA Updates [VIDEO]

Nick Newell scored a guillotine choke victory over Sabah Fadai at WSOF 7 last night. It looked like Newell, who’s now 11-0, hardly broke a sweat during the 81 seconds the match lasted.

Nick Newell kicked ass and tore up the regional lightweight scene en route the WSOF. He even left the XFC because he felt he was fighting beneath his level of competition; he wanted UFC veterans and promising prospects. Newell deserves a fight against such an opponent at this point in his career; his abilities surely can’t be denied at this point.

Also of note on WSOF 7: Georgi Karakhanyan defeated the highly accomplished wrestler Lance Palmer to become the first-ever WSOF featherweight champion. Jesse Taylor, the guy who got kicked off TUF for trashing a casino with a drunken possy (except without the possy), won a No.1 contender fight against Elvis Mutapcic. Taylor will now face David Branch for the inaugural WSOF middleweight title.

See other highlights from the weekend after the jump.

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CagePotato Roundtable #28: What Is the Most Underrated Fight of All Time?


(McCullough vs. Cerrone: a great fight overshadowed by the shitstorm that was Filho vs. Sonnen II. / Photo via Getty)

In today’s CagePotato Roundtable we’re talking underrated fights — fights that deserve to be remembered as some of the best our sport has to offer, yet are rarely even brought up during the discussion. Obviously, Fight of the Year winners are disqualified from this list, and UFC Fight of the Night winners have been strongly discouraged from inclusion. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future CagePotato Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Jared Jones

Until their recent rematch truly helped bring to light how incredible their first encounter was, I would argue that Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler at Bellator 58 was the most criminally underrated fight in MMA History. It wasn’t difficult to see why; the fight just happened to transpire on the same night that Dan Henderson defeated Mauricio Rua in a “Because PRIDE” classic at UFC 139, and being that Bellator plays Wes Mantooth to the UFC’s Ron Burgundy, Alvarez vs. Chandler was sadly overshadowed by its manlier, more mustachioed counterpart.

Contrary to popular opinion, however, I would additionally argue that Alvarez vs. Chandler surpasses Hendo vs. Rua in terms of pure excitement, and I say that as a guy who dug PRIDE more than Seth digs TNA Impact. For one, there was more than pride on the line for Chandler and Alvarez, there was a lightweight title. Sure, it was a Bellator lightweight title, but that’s worth like three MFC titles, dudes. And while Hendo vs. Rua was a goddamn barnburner in its own right, it never quite reached the fever pitch of the first round of Chandler vs. Alvarez.

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[VIDEO/GIF Party] Holly Holm, Leonard Garcia Win Big at LFC 23


(Video of and commentary on Holly Holm kicking ass via cakeboy38)

Former professional boxer Holly Holm and UFC veteran Leonard Garcia both won with impressive KO’s last night in Houston, TX at LFC 23. Holm remained unbeaten with a first round head kick knockout of Allana Jones.

Garcia took Rey Trujillo out in the third round with a head kick and flurry of punches. The win is the first for Garcia in six bouts and Holm improved her MMA record to 4-0.

But enough of all that – their knockouts were plain mean and nasty. So, check out the video above and gifs (courtesy of Zombie Prophet) below to make your Saturday even better.

Garcia enjoys a win:

Two more angles of Holm getting it done:

- Elias Cepeda

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Classic Fight Videos: Korean Zombie vs. Leonard Garcia 2, Jose Aldo vs. Mike Brown

To help promote the featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 (August 3rd, HSBC Arena, Rio de Janeiro), the UFC has released a key fight from each of the fighters’ careers on its YouTube page. Above, you’ll see Jung’s March 2011 rematch against Leonard Garcia, in which TKZ enacts a brutal revenge for the judging screwjob he suffered a year earlier.

After trading leather with Garcia for the majority of the first two rounds, Jung begins to step on the gas, landing a flying knee to Garcia’s grill and pouncing when Bad Boy slips to the mat. From there, it’s nasty elbows from the top, a scramble for back control, and the first “twister” submission in UFC history — with just one second remaining in the round.

After the jump: Jose Aldo wins the WEC featherweight title in November 2009 thanks to a second-round TKO of Mike Brown. Aldo would go on to defend the WEC belt twice against Urijah Faber and Manny Gamburyan, before kicking off his current reign in the UFC. So answer me this — will Jung be Aldo’s toughest challenge in the UFC thus far, or will the champ be celebrating another victory in the cheap seats?

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‘WTF?!’ of the Day: Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney Claims an Imposter Is Reaching Out to Fighters, Including Leonard Garcia


(“Alright, let’s see who you REALLY are! *tugs ears* Damn it, Scooby Doo made this look so easy…”)

If you follow college football at all, you probably remember the story of Kevin Hart, the high school lineman who held a press conference on national signing day in 2008 to declare that he was going to play college football for the Cal Bears. When the team announced that they never even had interest in recruiting him – let alone offering him a football scholarship – Hart claimed that he had been duped by a fake agent. It was one of the most bizarre sports stories in years; one that surely couldn’t happen again.

Yet here we are only five years later with an extremely similar story, only instead of involving a mediocre high school athlete from a small town in Nevada, it involves former UFC featherweight Leonard Garcia.

As we have covered, the recently released Leonard Garcia expressed no interest in signing with Bellator, even though they supposedly offered him a deal. In a way, this is a good thing, because according to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney, the promotion never actually planned on signing him in the first place. Via MMAJunkie.com:

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Following UFC Release, Leonard Garcia Leaves Team Jackson for Alpha Male, In Talks With WSOF


(Don’t worry, Leonard, the worst is over!) 

It’s been a rough couple of years for Leonard Garcia to say the least. Sure, he was able to remain employed with the UFC despite five straight losses, but Garcia isn’t the type of guy to take his job, let alone a losing streak, lightly. At least, he wasn’t. But somewhere along the line, Garcia became stagnant, he became complacent. He knew all the ins and outs of Team Jackson — one of the highest-acclaimed martial arts gyms in the world — yet he didn’t seem to be progressing as a fighter in the slightest.

But all of that changed when he was finally released from his Zuffa contract following a lackluster decision loss to Cody McKenzie at UFC 159 last month. Realizing that a change was not only necessary, but critical if he were to ever attempt a third run in the UFC, the 33-year old recently told MMAFighting that phase two (phase 3?) of his career will start with a new training camp and a new organization:

I’m going to go out to Team Alpha Male for a little while. My cousin (Ed note: Like, actual cousin or like how Donald Cerrone is “your brother?”) Duane Ludwig is out there, and I talked it over with Greg (Jackson). Greg said, ‘Yeah, the problem is guys that can take you down and hold you down.’ And now I’m going to go to a whole team of guys who are really, really good at that.

Just being the new guy in the room is going to help me a lot, because it’s something different. It’s a style I’ve never seen. Their style is unfamiliar to me. I don’t know all their tricks like I do at Jackson’s. Like, we know each other so well at Jackson’s, and I think that’s caused me to become flat.

I talked it over with both camps and they’re both okay with it. I feel like this is a move that should’ve been a long time ago, but it takes situations like this to make it happen.

Team Alpha Male consists of several of Garcia’s former WEC cohorts; Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez, Chad Mendes — who have all either held titles or fought for them in their WEC or UFC careers, often both. The move is undoubtedly a sound idea for Garcia, and the ultra-aggressive yet cardio-heavy style Team Alpha Male has become known for should meld with him nicely.

As for the organization Garcia will likely call home next? The answer might surprise you.

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And Now They’re Fired: Ding Dong, Ding Dong, Leonard Garcia’s UFC Career Might Finally Be Dead [UPDATED]


(If there was ever an image that summed up Garcia’s UFC experience, this is it.) 

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.

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UFC 159: Jones vs. Sonnen Aftermath, Part Two — These Tired Eyes


(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

If there’s anything positive for Alan Belcher to take away from his loss to Michael Bisping in the co-main event of last night’s UFC 159, it’s that he was right about Bisping being unable to knock him out. Bisping had plenty of opportunities to do so throughout the fight, yet Belcher was too resilient of an opponent. Unfortunately, that’s right about where the positive notes end. Bisping not only outstruck Belcher by a considerable margin throughout their fight, but also avoided all of Belcher’s takedowns. Simply put, Belcher didn’t have any answers for Bisping’s jab-n-jog offense.

And then there was the eye poke that ended up stopping the fight, awarding Michael Bisping the technical decision victory. It was a disappointing way to end an otherwise decent scrap – especially considering Belcher’s previous troubles with that eye. Fortunately, Belcher has since tweeted that he is doing okay.

Perhaps the strangest thing about the eye poke is that this fight wasn’t the only bout on the card to end in technical decision due to an eye poke. Earlier in the evening, the light heavyweight bout between Ovince St. Preux and Gian Villante also ended when St. Preux inadvertently poked Villante in the eye. St. Preaux walked away with a technical majority decision victory. Kind of makes a case for changing the design of MMA gloves.

Elsewhere on the card…

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Ben vs. Jared: UFC 159 Edition


(“How ’bout we say ‘triangle choke, round 2.’ I’ve got a t-shirt riding on this.” / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

With UFC 159 slated for tomorrow night, CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and beloved CP staff writer Jared Jones have teamed up to argue about all the important themes surrounding the event. So how will the absurd light-heavyweight title fight end, exactly? What will happen if Alan Belcher actually lets Michael Bisping take a free shot to his face? Can the third women’s UFC fight possibly live up to the first two? How many more fights can Leonard Garcia lose before the UFC gives him the ol’ heave-ho? Read on, and throw down your own opinions in the comments section.

Will Jon Jones immediately demolish Chael Sonnen, or will he play around with Chael a little before demolishing him? And will Chael retire after the loss?

BG:
 I rarely make sweeping statements about who will win an MMA fight because 1) anything can happen in this crazy sport, and 2) the things you write on the Internet often come back to haunt you. But yes, Jon Jones will win this fight. I absolutely guarantee it. Sonnen’s best weapon — his relentless wrestling attack — will dash apart against Jones’s own wrestling, which is precision-tuned for the sport of MMA. Quickly out of options, Chael will throw his patented “I give up” spinning backfist, fall down against the cage, and will whisper a quick prayer to his God before Jones literally eats him and shits him out. And I do mean literally, okay? Literally.

I’m leaning towards a quick beat-down in this fight rather than an extended clowning, because Jones takes his job too seriously to “play around” with an opponent. (He’s not exactly Mr. Fun, we’ve noticed.) And once Chael feels the power of a large light-heavyweight, he’ll realize what a bad idea this whole thing was in the first place. To exit the sport directly after another humiliation wouldn’t fit in with Sonnen’s blustery self-image, so I think he’ll take at least one more fight — maybe at middleweight, maybe at light-heavyweight — before calling it quits. Once he starts losing to non-champions, he’ll wisely make the switch to full-time UFC talking head and occasional hair-texture tester.

JJ: Mark my words, this fight will be Jon Jones’s UFC 97 (or UFC 112, depending on which fight you thought was worse). Jones may not be a fun-loving guy, as you stated, but it also appears that the tryptophan-induced honeymoon between these two TUF coaches has passed, leaving behind only apathy in its wake. If you’ve noticed in the past, the foes “Bones knows” on a personal level seem to last the longest in the cage with him (Rampage, Rashad) — perhaps out of respect, perhaps because they are both tough as hell — so I think we should start preparing ourselves for a tepid, five-round affair highlighted by Bones’s jab and Sonnen’s desperate attempts to convert a single leg.

And when all is said and done, Sonnen will snatch the mic out of Joe Rogan’s hand, and in an attempt to mimic [enter professional wrestler name here]’s infamous retirement speech, will announce that, and I quote:

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