After listening to our the UFC 155 review show, Leonard Garcia reached out to us to come on the show. Shanks and I asked him very directly about his split decisions, his brawling style over his more successful grappling background, about adopting the nickname of the Mexican Zombie, and more. Due to a technical error the first few minutes of the interview was cut off. :( Here is quick summary of what we talked about before the sound issues were fixed (4:25):
1. Why did you want to come on the show?
He thought we had some good points on the fight while the rest were just talking about the decisions and past, etc.
2. Mitchell and I felt you lost the Nam Phan and KZ fights, but we really felt you won this one. How do you feel?
He felt like he won the fight. With Nam and KZ, he knew he didn't perform well and doubted if he won in the cage. Going back and looking over the footage, he could see that they landed the crisper shots and had to admit that they won, which is why he gave them such quick re-matches so they could rewrite the split decision. Against, Holloway he felt like he won. And Holloway said so in the ring after the fight. But because of the split decisions in his favor, he wasn't going to make an issue out of it.
3. You looked physically different at weigh-ins and in the cage. Did you do something different for your training or camp?
He started taking classes again rather than just sparring. He starting re-focusing on the fundamentals and adding new elements to his grappling. He never learned to box, but naturally had power and a great chin, but now he's really tightening up his sparring. You could see the improvement in the Holloway fight.
4. Even with the loss, was this your best performance?
Definitely, his best. Never before in his other fights did so many of the UFC guys come back to talk to him, including Dana, to tell him how good of a fight he did. It makes all the new stuff he's doing really worth it and going to keep being able to do it going forward.
5. What boost does it give you to hear Dana White give you such a vote of confidence in the post-fight press conference about not getting cut?
Huge boost of confidence. He can continue to work and get better despite the loss. Should have used more of his grappling against Holloway ... and that's what we lead into on the audio.
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Exclusive - Interview with Leonard Garcia