Leonard Garcia beat Joe Elmore through determination in the principle occasion of Naked Knuckle Combating Championship 1t on Friday, and retired at age 41.“Unhealthy Boy” fought in MMA from 1999 to 2014, and within the UFC/WEC from 2007 to 2014, incomes 4 combat of the evening efficiency awards, together with a Battle of the Ever nominee win vs. Chan Sung Jung at WEC 38 in 2010. Throughout a current look on the What the Heck podcast, Garcia mirrored.
“I had been retired for 2 and a half years once I received the decision from Naked Knuckle,” stated Garcia “I used to be achieved. I used to be retired, however I received this chance and it took a few week to speak to my spouse into it. The primary combat was in Cancun, in order that helped so much, however it was a religious search. I’ve been closely concerned in church ever since I had retired and it was a kind of issues the place I wasn’t positive if I used to be gonna come again or not, if she was gonna let me, I didn’t know if my job was gonna let me, I wasn’t positive the way it was going to play out.
“I prayed so much, and actually, actually sat down and considered it. [BKFC owner David Feldman] provided me a three-fight deal, I introduced these three fights and I stated if I play my playing cards accurately, if I beat this primary man I do know it’s for a global title which could lead on me to the title inside these three fights, I could possibly be the No. 1 ranked man. I made the take care of her, I prayed in regards to the deal so I basically made the take care of God as properly and made the take care of the corporate. All of it labored out that method. All of it made sense to do the three fights.”
Garcia received his first BKFC bout vs. Julian Lane of “let me bang bro” viral fame, and misplaced the second to Jim Alers.
“That was a humorous method of telling me don’t veer from the trail,” stated Garcia. “I believed it was loopy that Joe Elmore was calling me out when he was ranked No. 1. I felt like this was it. Every part lined up. The one downside was Joe Elmore was a scary particular person. To say sure to that was like, holy crap. Is that this actually the trail? After watching him combat and Tom Shoaff coming down to assist was huge mentally. Tom has no concept what sort of impression he had however for him to spend 5 rounds in there with a man like Joe after which come down right here to inform me, ‘Hey, you’re prepared,’ it felt like the whole lot falling into place.
“You don’t actually hear a few man shedding a combat after which combating the No. 1 man in order that’s how I knew God had just a little intervention in there. To stroll away after that with the deal being made, it was like a surreal factor. I’m a person of my phrase and it was the perfect factor. After performing like that, everybody has been saying, ‘Why?’ I feel that’s whenever you stroll away, after they don’t need you to go away. You don’t need to stroll away after they’re asking you to go.”
“I nearly misplaced my eye in my second combat in opposition to Jim Alers, he received me with a knuckle. On this combat with Joe Elmore, I actually wished to show that my chin hadn’t been compromised. With the Alers combat, I simply couldn’t see something with my eye. I couldn’t see a factor, only a purple blob. My pupil is definitely dilated twice the scale greater than my different eye for the remainder of my life due to the harm I took in that one combat. Thank God he didn’t detach my retina.
“However Joe Elmore was the No. 1 man for 5 months straight. He was crumbling folks with each punch. If he touched you, you had been taking place. So I made a take care of my coaches within the again that I wasn’t taking place one time, I’m by no means gonna present it if he hurts me, and I’m gonna put him down. Within the first spherical, I don’t care what anyone says, I put him down. That was a knockdown.”
Garcia fought “The Korean Zombie” twice, successful the primary in WEC through Break up Resolution, and shedding the rematch eleven months later within the UFC. There by no means was a trilogy combat.
“I at all times considered that and for those who have a look at the numbers in our second combat, we had been equivalent on punches landed and the whole lot else,” stated Garcia. “It’s at all times been a loopy matchup between me and him. I feel our kinds simply blended so properly collectively. I considered a 3rd combat with him for years, and naturally he was climbing up the ladder and I used to be falling down it so it made far more sense for me, and didn’t make loads of sense for him.
“Our paths did cross twice, we’re 1-1, and I’m comfy with that. I feel he’s as properly. We’re really fairly first rate mates. We’ve a speech distinction, however his translator tells me good issues. Seeing his final combat, it was saddening to me. I at all times need guys who had overwhelmed me earlier than to go larger and better. However I considered that once I first received into Naked Knuckle calling him out to see if we may do a 3rd one there. However I don’t have a style for it. I’m actually proud of the way in which all of it ended, and the outcomes of the whole lot.
“I’m at peace. I really feel actually good in regards to the determination and, at 41 years outdated, the clock is working in opposition to me it doesn’t matter what.”
So after 15 years, what are Garcia’s most memorable moments?
“I hate interested by one combat being extra vital than the opposite,” stated Garcia. “I’d like to have a library of all of them—with out the clips, with out the tales, with out the whole lot—to observe the rise, the autumn, the rise, the autumn, the rise. And I received fortunate as a result of I rose rapidly, and I fell, I rose rapidly once more, then I fell, and for those who watch my profession all through each single group I fought for, I both received the title, or I competed for it. I at all times reached the best level of each group I labored for.
“I feel that’s the story: try for the perfect. I at all times wished to be the perfect with the whole lot that I did. Now that I’m doing oil discipline automation out right here in Texas, I need to be the perfect at that. That’s at all times my purpose to be the perfect at the whole lot I do, and instructing my children to try this now. My focus needs to be on them and seeing them deal with their objectives.”
There’s retirement, and there may be MMA retirement. That is the latter, the final one.
“Completely, as a result of the way in which that it occurred and the way in which that I felt,” stated Garcia. “God stored each promise to me, so I’m gonna maintain my phrase and preserve my promise to him as properly. Possibly folks received’t perceive that however I nonetheless have all my cognitive tissue in my mind, I can nonetheless discuss properly, I can nonetheless see properly, I really feel good. So why danger that?”