Steve Garcia knew he had to drop down in weight after his last fight.
Garcia went to Singapore to take on Maheshate at UFC 275 in June and after he weighed in, he had a hard time putting on weight. He ended up losing by first-round TKO and after the loss, he knew he needed to drop down to featherweight.
“In my last fight, I only put on five pounds after weigh-ins and couldn’t gain any weight,” Garcia said to BJPENN.com. “I walked into that cage at 160 and my opponent was much heavier than I was. I wanted to be back on an even playing field and that was at featherweight.”
In his UFC featherweight debut, he was booked to face Chase Hooper and knew he had the striking advantage. However, he admits he was surprised that he scored the first-round TKO as he thought Hooper would be there for the entire fight.
“I’m very happy with it. There are some things I do want to clean up, as I am my worst critic,” Garcia said. “But, overall I did pretty well… It was a little surprising, I know I have a lot of power but because of his track record, he is very hard to put away. He’s very tough, so going up against him I expected to hit him for big shots for 15 minutes.”
When Steve Garcia did drop Chase Hooper, he immediately let him get back up. Garcia says that was the plan as he had no interest in going to the ground with him as he knew that is where he could get caught.
“The game plan was to circle and see if I could get some extra shots on the ground. But, he’s tough and tricky and I had no interest in playing his game,” Garcia said. “I knew I had to let him up from the get-go. I didn’t want to risk anything by playing in his guard. So, I wanted to keep it standing where my advantage was.”
The win was also crucial for Steve Garcia as it was the last fight of his contract. The goal for Garcia is to re-sign with the UFC and hopes this performance against Chase Hooper gets him a new contract.
“This was the final fight of my deal,” Garcia said. “We haven’t talked to the UFC yet but I’m leaving my manager to do that. I’m just waiting to see what they offer me. Who knows, maybe they don’t want me back (laughs).”
If Garcia does re-sign with the UFC, the plan is to return in the spring, and wants a fun fight next time out.
“I’d preferably like to return in the spring. I’d like to fight guys like Sean Woodson or Charles Rosa, just fun fights,” Garcia said.
Who would you like to see Steve Garcia fight next?