Ever since signing with Legacy FC earlier this year, former UFC featherweight Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia’s career has been on the upswing.
Two wins in two fights has the Texas native back on track after a stretch where he lost six of seven fights, which lead to his UFC release in May.
“I feel great,” Garcia told MMAWeekly.com. “The two guys that I’ve fought are guys who have been in big shows already as well, so I feel like the competition level is right in there that I need to be in. I feel like Legacy is a great organization and it’s Texas-based, so it’s been a lot of fun.”
Garcia credits his resurgence to getting more serious in the gym and it’s paid off with finishes in both his Legacy wins.
“I’m feeling a whole lot better in the gym and am doing different things than I was doing a while ago,” he said. “I got really lazy and complacent when I was in the UFC. I just felt like I was another guy in the organization.
“I wasn’t chasing the title. I wasn’t doing anything when I was there. I was just kind of there. And when you’re fighting for money, it becomes a job and that’s not how it’s been the last couple of fights.”
With his wins in tow, Garcia (17-11-1) has placed himself in line to fight for the vacant Legacy 145-pound championship against up-and-comer Kevin Aguilar (8-0) on Friday, Dec. 6, in San Antonio.
“He’s a well-rounded kid and has all the tools to do good things in the future, but unfortunately he has to fight me before he goes on,” said Garcia of Aguilar. “I think I have all the same tools he has. We’re just as well-rounded as one another. I feel I have to go out there and outsmart him.
“I have to be the veteran in this fight. If I can get him into a firefight early, I think that’ll win me the fight. If he’s smarter than that, then I’ve got to drag him into deep waters. That’s something I’m really familiar with in a lot of my fights. I carry a different pace than a lot of fighters, so when I take them into deep waters they usually drown.”
Having nearly 30 fights to his credit in 14 years of fighting MMA against some of the top competition in the world, Garcia told MMAWeekly.com that he feels it’s his veteran experience that will be the key to defeating Aguilar.
“I think athleticism gets you so far and then it comes to a point in a fight – that I’ve been in several times before – you give a guy everything you’ve got and he’s still standing there, that’s when you have to dig deep and figure it out,” said Garcia. “I think this will be his first time (having to do that).
“Definitely he’s never faced anybody who’s been where I’ve been, and been able to do what I’ve done against some of the top fighters. I feel like that’s going to be the big difference in this fight.”