Two straight losses, preceded by a controversial split decision win, preceded by another loss. Not exactly the recipe for continued success in the UFC.
But this is Leonard Garcia we're talking about here. The Texas featherweight may not collect much "win money" of lately, but he cleans up on fight bonuses. He has four fight of the night bonuses and a knockout of the night check to his credit.
Garcia picked up a loss Saturday night at UFC 136 in Houston, a unanimous decision to Nam Phan. He also earned an extra $75,000 for his effort in the cage. It was exciting, it was wild, it was crowd-pleasing. It was Leonard Garcia.
“I value guys that come in and actually fight," UFC president Dana White said. "Yes, you have to win and you have to have so many wins. But guys that come in and bring it, we respect and like. It’s pretty hard to leave. After that fight, seriously, I want everybody to raise their hands who wants me to kick Leonard Garcia out of the UFC.”
The knock on Garcia (19-8-1) has been his excitement level but rather his undisciplined approach. He'll flail around with his arms going in any direction possible. Garcia throws good combinations at times. Other times, he's Dr. Octopus from "Spider-Man 2."
Garcia knows about his lack of discipline. He tries, he says, but sometimes he resorts back to instinct.
"I’m trying to get more technical, I just got caught early on," Garcia said. "The only way I know how to answer that is by fighting hard.”
Phan hit Garcia with a solid punch behind his right ear that knocked him to the ground.
“I stood up from that and one leg felt six inches longer than the other for a round and a half," Garcia said. "I couldn't find my stride. I couldn't get moving. So I just started throwing down. Then in the third round, I caught my stride, started throwing combinations, starting feeling good. I’d trade fight of the night for a win tonight.”