If former Legacy FC featherweight champion Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia seemed to not be focused on the task at hand in his recent loss to Damon Jackson in July that cost him his title, it was because his mind was elsewhere that night.
Because of an issue with unpaid back taxes, a previously agreed to arrangement had to be in place for Garcia’s fight with Jackson at LFC 33, however, due to a miscommunication, new arrangements had to be made the night of the bout and it ended up costing him money just for the privilege of fighting.
“It basically cost me $2,000 to fight that night,” Garcia told MMAWeekly.com.
“So when I was in the back, getting ready to fight, we were trying to come to some kind of agreement to figure it out, I wanted to pack up and go home. I didn’t want to go out there and fight, I was so distraught.”
Garcia feels that being out of his head cost him the bout more so than Jackson’s efforts.
“That wasn’t a performance at all,” said Garcia. “It bothered me after the fight because I didn’t go out there and do what I needed to do. Going out there, I wasn’t in fight mode.
“I made (Jackson) look like a great fighter. I’m not saying he couldn’t beat me or it couldn’t happen, because anything can happen in a fight, but I didn’t go out there and fight.”
With the help of his management and Legacy FC owner Mick Maynard, Garcia (18-12-1) was able to get things worked out with the IRS and is now able to head undeterred into his upcoming bout on Friday against Daniel Pineda (18-11) in Houston.
“Daniel is a big name guy, and since he just got released from the UFC, he’s a very dangerous guy,” said Garcia. “It’s a great fight after a performance like that (in my fight with Jackson) because I feel like I have a lot of fighting to do.
“I feel like if I go out there and fight the way I’ve trained for, I can get the win over Daniel. I think I’m a little bit tougher than he is and I implement the things I’ve been working on, I can beat him.”
Having been so focused in the past on returning to the UFC, Garcia now feels his mind should be firmly on having a great fight, and whatever comes of it is something he’ll deal with afterwards.
“Every time I put pressure on myself to say that this is the fight that’s going to get me in (the UFC) or this is the one that’s going to do it, that’s when bad things happen,” said Garcia. “I don’t need to overthink it, I just need to get in there and go.
“I can’t have much of an agenda or look for a prize at the end – my prize is to go out there and give the fans the show I’m capable of – and if I go out there and do that, I don’t care if it takes another one or a couple more fights to get to the UFC.”