Suffering through a five-fight losing streak, former WEC/UFC featherweight Leonard Garcia recognizes what he’s been doing wrong.
“I had a couple fights where I had been doing the same thing I’d done before and wasn’t moving forward with things I should have,” he said. “I was relying too much on landing the big punch.”
Not only does he feel like he was doing the wrong thing in fights, but also in training, thus Garcia has been working with a new team.
“I’ve had the same training partners for the last seven years and it kind of felt like going through the motions every camp,” Garcia told MMAWeekly.com. “I got complacent.
“I’m going to out to Alpha Male and training with some of those guys: Duane Ludwig, Urijah Faber, Lance Palmer and all those guys. It’s really changed my game all over again. So (the losing streak) wasn’t the worst thing that could happen, it’s turned out to be the best thing that could happen.”
Now that he feels he’s corrected the issues that have plagued him the last couple years, Garcia (15-11-1) is looking to get back on track on Friday night when he makes his promotion debut at Legacy FC 21 against Rey Trujillo in Houston and live on AXS TV.
“He’s kind of got a style similar to mine, but I don’t think he’s fought anyone of my caliber yet,” Garcia said of Trujillo. “Hopefully he’ll realize he’s bit off more than he can chew.
“With my new training camp, with the changes I’ve made, and all the new stuff we’ve touched on, I don’t just have to stay standing. I feel like I can sit back, dictate the pace, and take the fight where I want it to go, and show the people that my wrestling and jiu-jitsu has come far and show people a different side of me.”
Though he plans on doing things differently Friday night, Garcia doesn’t want people to think he’s lost the blood and guts style that’s made him a fan favorite.
“My style is always going to be an exciting one to watch,” he said. “Whether I’m striking, wrestling or doing jiu-jitsu, I go for it. I think people do appreciate the aggressiveness, but it’s going to be a little bit different this time.”
Now that he’s with a new promotion, Garcia intends to not only get back on track, but to be a dominant force and earn his way back to the UFC.
“I’m excited to be with Legacy,” he said. “I want to be their 145-pound champion and even possibly be the 155-pound champion as well. By the end of the year I hope to definitely have one crown and challenge for the other.
“Eventually after that I would like to end my career in the UFC. I feel like that’s my home. I fought there for six and a half years, and I would like to get back there with a fresh start.”