Leonard Garcia

Leonard Garcia (born July 14, 1979, in Plainview, Texas) is an American former mixed martial artist who most recently competed in the Featherweight division of the Legacy Fighting Championship, and is the former Legacy FC Featherweight Champion. After making his professional debut in 1999, Garcia competed in WEC and in the UFC.

Leonard Garcia
Born (1979-07-14) July 14, 1979 (age 42)
Plainview, Texas, United States
Other namesBad Boy
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st)
Reach69+12 in (177 cm)
Fighting out ofLubbock, Texas, United States
TeamJackson's Submission Fighting, Team Alpha Male
RankBrown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Years active1999–2003; 2006–2014
Professional boxing record
By knockout0
By knockout1
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout5
By submission10
By decision3
By submission4
By decision9
Other information
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog


Garcia was born and raised in Plainview, Texas. His mother gave birth to him when she was only 17 years old, and doctors had to inject steroids into Garcia's lungs because of a rare illness. Garcia was raised in his grandparents' home, who had a farm and, along with his uncles, helped raise the young Garcia. Garcia later attended Plainview High School, where he was a talented football player and had also been involved in martial arts and boxing. Garcia had been planning to walk-on to the Texas Tech football team, when he was involved in a physical altercation with a recently released felon at a local restaurant. The man had a knife and stabbed Garcia eight times, twice puncturing his lungs, causing them to collapse. Had it not been for the steroid injections when he was an infant, Garcia believes that he would have died. Not long after the incident Garcia, who would not be able to continue his football career because of his wounds, found a dojo and found his new passion in fighting.[1][2]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Garcia began his career in 1999, competing on the regional circuit in the Western United States. Garcia competed in the first WEC event back in 2001 at WEC 1. After compiling an impressive 8–1 beginning to his professional career, Garcia took a three-year hiatus from competition.

Returning to action in 2006, Garcia was tabbed as a short notice replacement against high ranking contender Roger Huerta at UFC 69 where he lost a very one-sided unanimous decision.

Garcia then defeated Allen Berube by submission at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale. In his next bout Garcia lost via decision to Cole Miller at UFC Fight Night 11. After going 1–2 with the UFC, Garcia was released from his contract.

World Extreme CagefightingEdit

Garcia defeated Hiroyuki Takaya via first-round knockout at WEC 32. In his next fight, Leonard knocked out former undisputed UFC Lightweight Champion, Jens Pulver 72 seconds into the first round at WEC 36.

On March 1, 2009, Garcia lost the WEC Featherweight Championship match against champion Mike Brown. Brown landed a huge overhand right, knocking Garcia down in the first 30 seconds of the fight, landed some ground and pound, and then secured a fight-ending arm-triangle choke submission.

Garcia defeated Jameel Massouh via a controversial split decision on August 9, 2009, at WEC 42.

In his next fight, Garcia lost to Manvel Gamburyan on November 18, 2009, at WEC 44 via unanimous decision.[3]

Garcia was expected to face Diego Nunes on March 6, 2010, at WEC 47,[4] but Nunes was forced from the card with an injury.[5] Garcia instead faced former UFC fighter George Roop[6] with the bout ending in a split draw.

Garcia faced WEC newcomer Chan Sung Jung on April 24, 2010, at WEC 48. Garcia replaced Cub Swanson who was forced from the card with an injury.[7] The fight went the full three rounds and Garcia won in a controversial split decision. The fight won Fight of the Night honors, being hailed by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and announcer Joe Rogan as "the best fight I've seen in my life."

Garcia faced Mark Hominick on September 30, 2010, at WEC 51.[8] He lost the fight via split decision.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

In October 2010, World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As part of the merger, all WECfighters were transferred to the UFC.[9] Now managed by VFD Marketing,[10] Garcia was expected to face Tyler Toner at The Ultimate 12 Finale, but Garcia was pulled from the bout with Toner in favor of a bout with Nam Phan.[11] Garcia won the fight via a controversial split decision. Garcia and Phan received Fight of the Night honors for their performances.[12] This was the first televised featherweight bout in the UFC.

A rematch with Phan was expected on March 26, 2011, at UFC Fight Night 24.[13] However, Phan was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Chan Sung Jung.[14] Garcia lost to Jung in the second round, falling victim to the first twister submission in UFC history.

Garcia was expected to face The Ultimate Fighter 12 alumni Alex Caceres on August 14, 2011, at UFC on Versus 5.[15] However, Garcia was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Jimy Hettes.[16]

Garcia fought Nam Phan in a rematch UFC 136.[17] Garcia lost via unanimous decision in a fight that earned Fight of the Night honors.

Garcia was expected to face Zhang Tie Quan on February 26, 2012, at UFC 144. However, Garcia was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by promotional newcomer Issei Tamura.[18]

Garcia fought Matt Grice on June 8, 2012, at UFC on FX 3.[19] Garcia lost the bout via unanimous decision (30-27, 30–27, 30–27).

Garcia was expected to face Cody McKenzie on December 29, 2012, at UFC 155.[20] However, McKenzie was forced out of the bout with an injury and was replaced by Max Holloway.[21] Garcia lost the fight via a controversial split decision. While no official statement has been made by the UFC, Dana White said in his post fight interview after the UFC 155 press conference, that the UFC loves the fighters that lay it all out on the line.[22]

The bout with Cody McKenzie was rescheduled for April 27, 2013 at UFC 159.[23] Garcia lost the bout via unanimous decision and was subsequently released from the promotion.[24]

Legacy Fighting ChampionshipEdit

After being released by the UFC Garcia left Jackson's Submission Fighting and joined Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male.

On May 11, 2013, Garcia signed a three-fight deal with Legacy Fighting Championship, a promotion based out of Texas.[25] Garcia faced Rey Trujillo at Legacy FC 21 on July 19, 2013, He snapped his five-fight losing streak winning via KO due to a head kick and punches in the third round.

Garcia faced Nick Gonzalez at Legacy FC 23 on September 13, 2013.[26] He won the fight via rear-naked choke submission in the first round.

On September 24, 2013, it was announced Garcia would face Kevin Aguilar for the Legacy FC Featherweight Championship on December 6, 2013, at Legacy FC 26.[27] He won the fight via knockout in the first round to win the Legacy FC Featherweight Championship.

Garcia was expected to face Shane Howell for the Legacy FC Featherweight Championship at Legacy FC 29 on March 21, 2014, however, Howell fell ill hours before the event and the fight was pulled from the card.[28]

In his first title defense, Garcia faced undefeated Damon Jackson at Legacy FC 33 on July 18, 2014.[29] He lost the fight via arm-triangle choke submission.[30]

Garcia faced Daniel Pineda on November 14, 2014, at Legacy FC 37.[31] He lost the fight via submission in the first round and announced his retirement at the event after this loss.[32]

Bare-knuckle boxingEdit

Garcia first appeared in bare knuckle at BKFC 4 USA vs Mexico where he won the lightweight title by defeating Julian Lane by 2nd-round TKO. Garcia later faced Jim Alers in a bare-knuckle boxing match at BKFC 7 on August 10, 2019, losing by technical knockout in the first round.[33]

On March 16, 2021, in Biloxi, MS, Garcia headlined BKFC 16 opposite Joe Elmore. The two fighters went the distance in an exciting 5 round battle. Garcia won via unanimous decision. After the fight, which was the last of a three bout contract, Garcia retired in front of the Biloxi Civic Center crowd.

Personal lifeEdit

In March 2008, Garcia was arrested as part of an alleged cocaine ring, which put his career on hold. According to Garcia, "I had a buddy, a really good friend of mine in Lubbock, and he was into things that weren't good," he said. "I knew about what the guy was up to but he was a friend of mine. The law says even if he's your friend, you are required to report on the guy. The other 11 guys, I didn't know any of them." Three months later, he was exonerated.

In 1997, his sister Angelica, was killed in a car accident involving a drunk driver. Afterwards, Garcia limited his own drinking.[1][34]

Garcia proposed to his girlfriend on March 21, 2014.

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
32 matches 18 wins 13 losses
By knockout 5 0
By submission 10 4
By decision 3 9
Draws 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 18–13–1 Daniel Pineda Submission (kimura) Legacy FC 37 November 14, 2014 1 1:54 Houston, Texas, United States Announced his retirement shortly after the fight.
Loss 18–12–1 Damon Jackson Submission (arm-triangle choke) Legacy FC 33 July 18, 2014 1 1:32 Dallas, Texas, United States Lost the Legacy FC Featherweight Championship.
Win 18–11–1 Kevin Aguilar KO (punches) Legacy FC 26 December 6, 2013 1 2:57 San Antonio, Texas, United States Won the Legacy FC Featherweight Championship.
Win 17–11–1 Nick Gonzalez Submission (rear-naked choke) Legacy FC 23 September 13, 2013 3 4:43 San Antonio, Texas, United States
Win 16–11–1 Rey Trujillo KO (head kick and punches) Legacy FC 21 July 19, 2013 3 0:24 Houston, Texas, United States
Loss 15–11–1 Cody McKenzie Decision (unanimous) UFC 159 April 27, 2013 3 5:00 Newark, New Jersey, United States
Loss 15–10–1 Max Holloway Decision (split) UFC 155 December 29, 2012 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 15–9–1 Matt Grice Decision (unanimous) UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall June 8, 2012 3 5:00 Sunrise, Florida, United States
Loss 15–8–1 Nam Phan Decision (unanimous) UFC 136 October 8, 2011 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 15–7–1 Chan Sung Jung Submission (twister) UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis March 26, 2011 2 4:59 Seattle, Washington, United States
Win 15–6–1 Nam Phan Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck Finale December 4, 2010 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 14–6–1 Mark Hominick Decision (split) WEC 51 September 30, 2010 3 5:00 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Win 14–5–1 Chan Sung Jung Decision (split) WEC 48 April 24, 2010 3 5:00 Sacramento, California, United States Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year (2010).
Draw 13–5–1 George Roop Draw (split) WEC 47 March 6, 2010 3 5:00 Columbus, Ohio, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 13–5 Manvel Gamburyan Decision (unanimous) WEC 44 November 18, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 13–4 Jameel Massouh Decision (split) WEC 42 August 9, 2009 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 12–4 Mike Brown Submission (arm-triangle choke) WEC 39 March 1, 2009 1 1:57 Corpus Christi, Texas, United States For WEC Featherweight Championship
Win 12–3 Jens Pulver TKO (punches) WEC 36: Faber vs. Brown November 5, 2008 1 1:12 Hollywood, Florida, United States Knockout of the Night
Win 11–3 Hiroyuki Takaya KO (punch) WEC 32: Condit vs. Prater February 13, 2008 1 1:31 Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States Featherweight debut
Loss 10–3 Cole Miller Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Thomas vs Florian September 19, 2007 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night
Win 10–2 Allen Berube Submission (rear-naked choke) The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale June 23, 2007 1 4:22 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 9–2 Roger Huerta Decision (unanimous) UFC 69 April 7, 2007 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 9–1 Rocky Johnson Submission (rear-naked choke) ROF 23: Impact April 1, 2006 1 4:58 Castle Rock, Colorado, United States
Win 8–1 Justin James Submission (rear-naked choke) ROF 7: Meltdown March 28, 2003 1 2:28 Denver, Colorado, United States Defended ROF Lightweight Championship.
Win 7–1 Steve Horton Submission (armbar) ROF 4: Warriors March 15, 2002 1 0:33 Denver, Colorado, United States Won the ROF Lightweight Championship.
Win 6–1 Víctor Estrada KO (head kick) WEC 1 June 30, 2001 2 0:54 Lemoore, California, United States
Win 5–1 Jake Hattan Submission (guillotine choke) ROF 2: Trial By Fire February 10, 2001 2 1:46 Denver, Colorado, United States Won the ROF 2 Lightweight Tournament.
Win 4–1 Shawn Simpson Submission (triangle choke) ROF 2: Trial By Fire February 10, 2001 1 0:32 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 3–1 Brent Medley Submission (triangle choke) Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 18 November 25, 2000 1 3:59 Amarillo, Texas, United States Won the USWF World Lightweight Championship.
Win 2–1 Puma Green Submission (armbar) Ring of Fire 1 March 18, 2000 1 2:15 Denver, Colorado, United States
Loss 1–1 Brent Medley Decision Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 15 May 1, 1999 1 20:00 Dumas, Texas, United States
Win 1–0 Chris Cantrell Submission (armbar) Unified Shoot Wrestling Federation 15 May 1, 1999 1 1:28 Dumas, Texas, United States

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
1 fight 0 wins 1 loss
By knockout 0 1
By decision 0 0
No. Result Record Opponent Method Round, time Date Location Notes
1 Loss 0–1   Miguel Ortiz TKO 3 (4), 1:45 Nov 26, 2005   Music Hall, Austin, Texas Professional debut

Bare knuckle recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
3 matches 2 wins 1 loss
By knockout 1 1
By decision 1 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 2–1 Joe Elmore Decision (unanimous) Bare Knuckle FC 16 March 16, 2021 5 2:00 Biloxi, Mississippi, United States Retired from combat sports post-bout.
Loss 1-1 Jim Alers TKO (punches) Bare Knuckle FC 7 August 10, 2019 1 1:38 Biloxi, Mississippi, United States
Win 1-0 Julian Lane TKO (punches) Bare Knuckle FC 4 February 2, 2019 2 N/A Cancun, Mexico

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Melissa Segura (December 28, 2012). "Garcia determined to end losing streak at UFC 155". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on January 1, 2013.
  2. ^ "How a brush with death led Leonard Garcia to MMA and a WEC title fight". February 26, 2009.
  3. ^ "WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo results". www.wec.tv/index.cfmom. November 19, 2009. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009.
  4. ^ "Leonard Garcia and Diego Nunes agree to WEC 47 bout". MMAjunkie.com. January 18, 2010. Archived from the original on January 21, 2010. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  5. ^ Jesse Holland (February 18, 2010). "Injury forces Diego Nunes to withdraw from WEC 47 on March 6 in Columbus". mmamania.com.
  6. ^ "George Roop tapped as late replacement, faces Leonard Garcia at WEC 47". MMAjunkie.com. February 20, 2010. Archived from the original on February 23, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
  7. ^ "Leonard Garcia Replaces Cub Swanson, Fights Jung at WEC 48 in April". mmafrenzy.com. March 27, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  8. ^ "Mark Hominick vs. Leonard Garcia on tap for WEC 51 in September". MMAjunkie.com. August 7, 2010. Archived from the original on August 12, 2010.
  9. ^ "UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011; events to air on Versus and Spike TV". MMAjunkie.com. October 28, 2010. Archived from the original on October 30, 2010.
  10. ^ "VFD Marketing MMA Management". VFDMarketing.com. April 5, 2013.
  11. ^ "Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan slotted for The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale". MMAjunkie.com. December 1, 2010. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  12. ^ "TUF 12 Finale Results: Garcia Defeats Phan in Highly Controversial Split Decision". MMAWeekly.com. December 4, 2010.
  13. ^ "Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan 2 Headed to UFC Fight Night 24". MMAWeekly.com. January 10, 2011.
  14. ^ Geno Mrosko (March 16, 2011). "UFC Fight Night 24: Leonard Garcia vs Chan Sung Jung booked with Nam Phan injured". mmamania.com.
  15. ^ "Alex Caceres vs. Leonard Garcia slotted for UFC on Versus 5". MMAjunkie.com. May 25, 2011. Archived from the original on May 28, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
  16. ^ "Leonard Garcia out, Jim Hettes in against "Bruce Leroy" at UFC on Versus 5". MMAjunkie.com. August 2, 2011. Archived from the original on October 12, 2011. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  17. ^ "UFC 136 Fight Card: The Rematch That Never Was, Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia". MMAWeekly.com. September 7, 2011.
  18. ^ "With Leonard Garcia hurt, Tiequan Zhang meets newcomer Issei Tamura at UFC 144". MMAjunkie.com. February 12, 2012. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  19. ^ "Leonard Garcia vs. Matt Grice set for UFC on FX 3". MMAjunkie.com. March 29, 2012. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  20. ^ "Leonard Garcia vs. Cody McKenzie added to December's UFC 155 event". MMAjunkie.com. November 3, 2012. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  21. ^ "Max Holloway replaces injured Cody McKenzie, faces Leonard Garcia at UFC 155". MMAjunkie.com. December 19, 2012. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  22. ^ "Dana White: "There's No Way in Hell We're Cutting Leonard Garcia!"". mmaweekly.com. December 30, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  23. ^ Mike Bohn (March 3, 2013). "Leonard Garcia vs. Cody McKenzie rebooked for UFC 159 on April 27". MMAmania.com. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  24. ^ "Leonard Garcia and Bart Palaszewski confirm UFC releases". MMAjunkie.com. May 8, 2013. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  25. ^ "Leonard Garcia signs with Texas-based promotion Legacy FC, Debuts July 19". sherdog.com. May 11, 2013. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  26. ^ "Legacy FC 23, Fight Card". sherdog.com. July 19, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  27. ^ "Leonard Garcia and Kevin Aguilar Featherweight Title Tilt Tops Legacy FC 26". sherdog.com. September 24, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
  28. ^ "Illness pulls Howell from Leonard Garcia fight at Legacy FC 29, but Garcia gets engaged (updated)". MMAjunkie.com. March 21, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  29. ^ "Leonard Garcia vs. Damon Jackson title fight headlines Legacy FC 33". mmajunkie.com. April 11, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  30. ^ "Legacy FC 33 results: Damon Jackson submits Leonard Garcia to win featherweight title". fansided.com. July 19, 2014.
  31. ^ "LFC 37 - Legacy Fighting Championship 37". sherdog.com.
  32. ^ "Legacy FC 37 results: Daniel Pineda taps Leonard Garcia, 'Bad Boy' calls it a career". MMAjunkie.com. November 15, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  33. ^ Segura, Danny (August 10, 2019). "BKFC 7 Results: Jim Alers stops Leonard Garcia, Chase Sherman wins heavyweight title". MMA Fighting. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  34. ^ Dave Meltzer (February 27, 2009). "After fighting feds, Garcia ready for Brown". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
  35. ^ "Mma Article".
  36. ^ "Results of".
  37. ^ "FCF Tv Airs Weekly On".
  38. ^ Meltzer, Dave (January 26, 2011). "Biggest issue of the year: The 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards Issue". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, CA: 1–40. ISSN 1083-9593.

External linksEdit