by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
With the growing popularity of the lighter weight classes, more and more fighters are starting to find the division that they excel in. The newest addition to that list will be Leonard Garcia, who is expected to drop to 145 pounds and move from the Ultimate Fighting Championship to compete in World Extreme Cagefighting’s featherweight division, as confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by his coach and trainer, Greg Jackson.
Garcia made a huge impact in his Octagon debut, putting on a “fight of the year” performance with Roger Huerta. Even in defeat, he garnered praise from fans and critics who saw the talent in the young fighter.
Going 1-1 in the UFC since that time, most recently dropping a unanimous decision to former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor Cole Miller, it’s now time for Garcia to fight at a more natural weight for him, which will be 145 pounds.
“Leonard (Garcia) is such a great fighter and a strong guy, but he walks around at like three pounds over weight,” said Jackson about his fighter’s move to featherweight. “He had to eat the morning of the weigh-ins the last time. We’ve got to bring him down a weight class where he’s going to be more effective.”
It was after the fight with Miller that Jackson and Garcia decided it would be the best move for his career.
“We talked after his last fight and 145 is where he’s going to be,” Jackson stated. “I’m really looking forward to proving ourselves in that division in the WEC.”
Garcia should only serve to bolster the ranks of the WEC’s ever-growing featherweight division. The promotion will see its champion, Urijah Faber defend his title against Jeff Curran at the company’s next show on Dec. 12 in Las Vegas. At that same event, former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver will also join the WEC’s 145-pounders when he faces title contender Cub Swanson.