Leonard Garcia won a split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28, over Chan Sung Jung in a fight that is easily in contention for fight of the year. Garcia, a WEC vet, and Jung, who was making his WEC debut, engaged in nonstop action for three rounds Saturday in Sacramento.
The first round started out with both fighters swinging away for a straight minute and a half. Jung knocked Garcia down and looked close to finishing him off, but Garcia survived. He got back to his feet, but the damage was clear.
The second round had more explosive action. As the raucous crowd at Arco Arena chanted, "GAR-CI-A," Jung started out with a head kick and big punches. Garcia followed up with big punches of his own and appeared to rock Jung, but the "Korean Zombie" fought through it, and then hopped on Garcia's back and took him to the ground, attempting a rear naked choke. Jung couldn't sink in his hooks, and again, Garcia got back to his feet. In the final minute and a half of the round, Jung threw some punishing knees and punches, but then Garcia followed up with his own knees and punches.
Neither fighter appeared to have lost any gas in the final round, continuing to throw more and more punishing punches throughout the bout. After the final horn sounded, the two fighters smiled broadly at each other and hugged, both aware of the special fight they had just created.
Before the scores were read, Garcia told the camera that he broke his hand, and his corner had to cut his gloves off his hand. Jung may have lost his WEC debut, but he clearly made his mark on American MMA in what commentator Joe Rogan called "the fight of the decade."
- Leonard Garcia