"It took a lot of swallowing of my own pride to realize that the work that I was doing was good, and I was trying to learn different things and trying to turn different corners, but I was just trying to do that to be considered a smarter fighter, not just a brawler. But then I started to think ‘man, I used to nip on Cowboy (Cerrone)'s heels whenever we were training. I used to do these things and I used to challenge him and now I'm getting outclassed by these guys. My focus was on being competitive and not winning, and trying to be a smarter fighter, but not an effective fighter. That wasn't my forte. My forte was to go into fights, get in there, grind it out, push the guy really, really hard, and get a victory. I started to think ‘man, how come my skill set keeps dropping?' And the reason was, I would learn a move, and instead of going over it a hundred times like I'm supposed to, I would learn the move and try to make it seem like ‘okay, this is the technical way of doing it, and this is the way it should be done.' But everybody knows me, man. I don't do things the technical way. I make things look chaotic. If I'm going for an armbar, it looks like I'm going for a triangle or omoplata, and I end up getting an armbar. (Laughs) That's just my way of doing things. I'm more reckless about it, and I really go in there and make my own way of doing stuff and it worked for me for all those years, and I tried to change it for the fans' point of view." - Leonard Gracia via UFC
UFC veteran Leonard Garcia explains his desire to go back to his reckless, no-holds barred, chaotic style of fighting.
The long-time veteran's decision to move from the more cerebral fighting style employed by many of his fellow Jackson's Submission Fighting camp fighters, back to his unabashed brawling style was likely precipitated by the fact that he's dropped his last three fights, and four of his last five dating back to September of 2010.
His only win over that span was a controversial split decision over Nam Phan, who avenged the loss with a unanimous decision win over Garcia at UFC 136 in October of last year.
Three consecutive losses is usually the deathnail for UFC fighters, but Garcia has earned some leeway with three of his last five fights winning "Fight of the Night" honors. Even still, he could be facing a possible pink slip from the UFC if he losses this Saturday night against Max Holloway.
With his UFC career possibly on the line, the "Bad Boy" will go back to the vintage version of himself, which made him one of the most exciting featherweights in the WEC.