Featherweight fan favorite and WEC alum Leonard Garcia retired from MMA in 2014. In 2019, however, he returned to action for some bare-knuckle boxing.
1-1 in his first two Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) appearances, Garcia is now set to headline the promotion’s next event. On March 19, “Bad Boy” will be taking on Joe Elmore (2-0 in BKB, 13-12 in MMA) in the Biloxi Civic Center in Mississippi. The co-main event will feature a bantamweight showdown pitting 46-year-old former WBO junior welterweight champion DeMarcus Corley (55-33-1 in boxing) against BKFC stalwart Reggie Barnett Jr. (5-2 in BKB, 3-4 in MMA).
“Leonard Garcia against Joe Elmore is a true bad-blood match and perfect for our main event,” BKFC president David Feldman said (via MMA Junkie). “Both guys have wanted to fight each other for a long time and both have promised to finish the other in striking fashion. DeMarcus Corley is a former world champion boxer who has fought numerous big names over the last twenty years and surely will be tested by Reggie Barnett Jr. who is excited to welcome him to BKFC.”
Leonard Garcia, 41, enjoyed a 15-year MMA career that saw him go 18-13-1. After picking up his sixth career win at WEC 1 in 2001, the JacksonWink mainstay eventually found himself as part of the UFC lightweight division six years later.
Garcia went 1-2 in his first UFC run before rejoining the WEC and dropping down to featherweight. Back with his old promotion, Garcia would compete eight times under the blue banner and solidify himself as must-see TV — most notably for his 2010 fight of the year with “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.
After the UFC bought out the WEC that same year, Garcia went back to the UFC but remained a featherweight. He would drop five straight fights after controversially earning a split decision against Nam Phan in his first outing back.
Released by the UFC in 2013, Garcia enjoyed a brief resurgence in the Legacy Fighting Championships that saw him rattle off three straight before losing two in a row and calling it a career.