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Leonard Garcia Bio

Leonard Garcia (born July 14, 1979 in Plainview, Texas) is a retired American mixed martial artist who most recently competed in the Featherweight division of the Legacy Fighting Championship, and is the former Legacy FC Featherweight Champion. After making his professional debut in 1999, Garcia competed in WEC and in the UFC.


  • 1 Background
  • 2 Mixed martial arts career
    • 2.1 Early career
    • 2.2 World Extreme Cagefighting
    • 2.3 Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • 2.4 Legacy Fighting Championship
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 Championships and accomplishments
  • 5 Mixed martial arts record
  • 6 Professional boxing record
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


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 illness. Garcia was raised in his grandparent's home, who had a farm and, along with his uncles, helped raise the young Garcia. Garcia later attended Plainview High School, where he was a talented football player and had also been involved in martial arts and boxing. Garcia 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

Early 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 hiatus from competition.

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.

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 72 seconds into the 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 submission.

Garcia defeated Jameel Massouh via a controversial split decision on August 9, 2009 at WEC 42.

In his next fight, Garcia lost to Manvel Gamburyan on November 18, 2009 at WEC 44 via unanimous decision.

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."

Garcia faced Mark Hominick on September 30, 2010 at WEC 51. He lost the fight via split decision.

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 fought Nam Phan in a rematch UFC 136. Garcia lost via unanimous decision in a fight that earned Fight of the Night honors.

Garcia was expected to face Zhang Tie Quan on February 26, 2012 at UFC 144. However, Garcia was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by promotional newcomer Issei Tamura.

Garcia fought Matt Grice on June 8, 2012 at UFC on FX 3. Garcia lost the bout via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

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.

The bout with Cody McKenzie was rescheduled for April 27, 2013 at UFC 159. Garcia lost the bout via unanimous decision and was subsequently released from the promotion.

Legacy Fighting Championship

After being released by the UFC Garcia left Jackson's Submission Fighting and joined Duane Ludwig's Team Alpha Male.

On May 11, 2013, Garcia signed a three-fight deal with Legacy Fighting Championship, a 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.

Garcia faced Nick Gonzalez at Legacy FC 23 on September 13, 2013. He won the fight via rear-naked choke submission in the first 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 Featherweight 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 his first title defense, Garcia faced undefeated Damon Jackson at Legacy FC 33 on July 18, 2014. He lost the fight via arm-triangle choke submission.

Garcia faced Daniel Pineda on November 14, 2014 at Legacy FC 37. He lost the fight via submission in the first round and announced his retirement at the event after this loss.

Personal life

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

  • Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation
    • USWF World Lightweight Championship (One time)
  • Ring of Fire
    • ROF 2 Lightweight Tournament Champion
    • ROF Lightweight Championship (One time)
  • Legacy Fighting Championship
    • Legacy FC Featherweight Championship (One time)
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • Fight of the Night (Four times)
  • World Extreme Cagefighting
    • Fight of the Night (Two times)
    • Knockout of the Night (One time)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Fight of the Year (2010) vs. Chan Sung Jung

Mixed martial arts record

Professional boxing record

See also

  • List of mixed martial artists with professional boxing records

External links

  • Leonard 'Bad Boy' Garcia Official site
  • Official UFC Profile
  • Leonard Garcia on Twitter Edit this at Wikidata
  • Tapout Ranch Official site
  • Blue Chip Management Official site
  • Professional MMA record for Leonard Garcia from Sherdog Edit this at Wikidata

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