By Chris Taylor:
From his first UFC fight against Roger Huerta, to his latest ‘FOTN’ performance against Nam Phan at UFC 136, fans have come to expect nothing less than exciting fights from Leonard Garcia. ‘Bad Boy’ is a fan favorite for good reason, 4 of his last 6 bouts have earned him Fight Of The Night Bonuses. After taking some time off to heal from injuries, it sounds like Leonard will be back better than ever for his bout against Matt Grice at UFC on FX 3, on June 8th. Here’s what Garcia had to say in an exclusive interview with bjpenn.com:
Chris: First off how is training going? You were scheduled to fight back at UFC 144, but were forced off due to an injury, are you feeling back near 100%?
Garcia: I’m hitting it hard! I’m 100% and I feel great!
Chris: Awesome! So what do you know about your oppenent Matt Grice, and what will it take for you to defeat him at UFC on FX 3?
Garcia: He’s a great wrestler and he’s not afraid to bang. The secret to my success in the beginning of my career was hard work. I’m working really hard to go in there and put people away again, no more fight of the nights for me! I’m back to my roots, I’m looking for ko’s and submissions! I got away from that these last two years and my career was paying the price! No more am I looking for a way to just get out of there with a win. Matt is gonna try to take me down… great! I invite him to do it! I’ll be ready for his ground and pound. If he stands, well, that’s just my game so either way I have the answer!
Chris: After losing your last two fights are you looking to make a statement with Matt Grice? Also, you must be the rating king when it comes to ‘FOTN’ awards. Is it safe to say that those amazing fights have taken a toll on you?
Garcia: I’m just looking to make a statement period at anyone’s expense! Matt just happens to be the first guy in line! I feel like those fights opened my eyes. I have 5 FOTN’s and 2 KO of the nights. I’m looking for some submissions of the night and a few more KO’s! I’m training differently, I’m hungry again! I’m going into the gym eager to learn, not as the fight of the night guy who knows it all. Those fights made me smarter, they made me seasoned. I know I can go to war with anyone at anytime but why not outsmart them. So no, they didn’t take there toll, they made me a better fighter and on June 8th you’ll see what I’m talking about!
Chris: Awesome I can’t wait to see it. Impossible to be fan of MMA and not be a fan of Bad Boy! The featherweight division seems wide open at the moment, with consecutive wins it would be safe to say you could be right back in the mix.
Garcia: Thank you my friend, 2012 is my year!
Chris: You have been a long time member with Team Jackson, so this is probably a touchy subject… But do you have any prediction for the fight between Jones vs Evans on April 21st?
Garcia: I want to see the fight. I support both sides, it’s bitter sweet that we find out who’s better, but at the end, one of my friends just beat another friend… A lil weird, but necessary to find out who the best is!
Chris: Well put. Well thanks for taking the time to talk with me and best of luck to you in 2012 Leonard! Any last words from the Bad Boy…
Garcia: Thank you guys for the interview, bjpenn.com is a great place to get info on anything in MMA. Thanks to VFD Elite Management, my team and family and most of all thank god!
Follow Leonard Garcia on twitter @badboygarcia and be sure to catch his fight June 8th at UFC on FX 3 when he takes on Matt Grice!Tags: featured, FX, jon jones, Leonard Garcia, Matt Grice, Nam Phan, Rashad Evans, Roger Huerta, Team Jackson, ufc