Fightin' Words

A mixed martial arts blog about UFC, Bellator and other MMA promotions and fighters.


UFC 159: Leonard Garcia fails to excite in loss

Leonard Garcia looks to punch Max Holloway during

Leonard Garcia looks to punch Max Holloway during their UFC 155 featherweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, Dec, 29, 2012 in Las Vegas. Holloway won the match by a split decision. (AP Photo/David Becker) (Credit: AP Photo David Becker)

NEWARK -- The story is pretty much the same each time Leonard Garcia fights. It will come with plenty of excitement and thrilling action that drives fans wild . . . and a wild style with a lack of discipline and technique that drives critics crazy.

As important as wins are for improving status and rank within a division, excitement is just as important in maintaining a successful living in the world's most promiment MMA promotion.

Which pretty much explains how Garcia, loser of four straight in the UFC, was on the card for UFC 159 at the Prudential Center on Saturday night. Typically, a four-fight losing streak will produce other letters on your 4-ounce gloves, especially in 2013 when the UFC has shown signs of trying to pare down its roster.

Saturday night, technique never had the chance to go flying out the window as featherweight Cody McKenzie smothered Garcia for the first two rounds and won a unanimous decision. Two judges scored it 30-27 and one scored it 29-28.

McKenzie (14-3) fought intelligently by getting Garcia to the ground and working for submission. A guillotine master, McKenzie actually had more success going for the rear naked choke.

“Leonard is a really tough, scrappy guy and he’s very hard to choke," McKenzie said. "This is the second decision of my career out of thirty some fights so it’s a testament to his durability"

It wasn't until the third round that Garcia starting throwing whatever he could of, but that was mainly because he had no choice. His corner to presume he'd lost the first two rounds and needed a knockout to prevent a fifth straight loss.

“Obviously I’m very disappointed," Garcia said. "The fight didn’t got the way I planned. I don’t know what else to say.”

McKenzie held his own on his feet in the third round and managed to take Garcia (19-11-1) to the ground in the final minute.

Watch the UFC 159 live stream of post-fight presser just after 1 a.m.

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