Leonard Garcia’s loss to Cody McKenzie this past weekend at UFC 159 could mark the end of his time with the UFC. To be honest Leonard did get his fair share of chances to return to the win column, but unfortunately came up short in his last five consecutive fights.
Known for being a brawler, Garcia is definitely a fan favorite. He leaves everything in the cage and has shown a tremendous amount of heart in many fights throughout his career. This may be one of the reasons why the UFC has kept him around despite the fact that he has not been winning fights.
One of Garcia’s more memorable rivalries was with former TUF contestant Nam Phan. The men first met at The Ultimate Fighter season 12 Finale in December 2010, where Garcia won the fight via a controversial split decision. They tangled once more in a highly anticipated rematch at UFC 136 in October 2011, but this time Nam Phan won via unanimous decision. Both of the Garcia vs. Phan fights earned “Fight of the Night” honors.
On Saturday night, Cody McKenzie was able to dominate Leonard for the majority of the fight. Garcia wasn’t able to mount any notable offense and allowed McKenzie to overshadow him in all areas.
UFC president Dana White commented on the bout at the UFC 159 post-fight media scrum:
“He got beat,” Dana also said. “He even got beat standing up. Cody McKenzie beat him tonight, every way you can beat a guy.”.
Many fans would be sad to see Garcia leave, but maybe being cut would give Leonard the motivation he needs to turn things around. There are many opportunities outside of the UFC with promotions like the World Series of Fighting, Bellator, Legacy and more. Maybe Garcia would find more success in one of these organizations, who knows?
At the time of publication the UFC has yet to take any official action in regards to cutting Garcia, but I struggle to see how they could keep him on the roster, especially with the recent wave of fighters being released. I am sure we will know more about Garcia’s future with the organization soon enough.
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