'Bad Boy' Leonard Garcia retires, leaves enduring legacy of amazing fights

Kevin Iole
Cagewriter
'Bad Boy' Leonard Garcia retires, leaves enduring legacy of amazing fights
'Bad Boy' Leonard Garcia retires, leaves enduring legacy of amazing fights

Coming the day before the sport's three biggest promotions, the UFC, Bellator and the World Series of Fighting, all staged televised fight cards, the news hasn't gotten all that much attention.

But featherweight Leonard Garcia's decision to retire following a loss to Daniel Pineda at Legacy FC 37 was a stinging blow to mixed martial arts.

Garcia was never the most talented fighter, but he gave every ounce of what he had to give every time out, and he'll be remembered as one of the most exciting fighters of his generation.

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Garcia, 35, retires with a pedestrian 18-13-1 mark. In his biggest bout, he was submitted by Mike Brown via triangle choke in the first round in a bout for the World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight title.

But it's not titles or significant wins that made Garcia so memorable. It was his desire to put on a show, a willingness to accept two punches to land one, that made him popular and makes his retirement a dark day for the sport's fan base.

He won Fight of the Night four times in the UFC and twice in the WEC. He also had a Knockout of the Night in the WEC and his April 24, 2010, bout at WEC 48 with Chan Sung Jung, aka "The Korean Zombie," remains high on the list of any fans' compilation of top MMA bouts.

Garcia fought in a division with men infinitely more talented, but he made himself a name by sheer heart and desire.

The sport would be better with a lot more fighters with the fighting spirit that Garcia brought every time out to the cage.

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