Leonard Garcia has a long-held reputation for being involved in exciting fights, win or lose. Unfortunately for the Jackson's MMA fighter, though, his time in the big show appears to be winding toward a conclusion.
Garcia was dominated Friday night by a motivated Matt Grice at UFC on FX 3 in Sunrise, Fla. The former University of Oklahoma wrestler imposed his will on Garcia and scored a featherweight matchup. The judges' scores were 30-27 across the board.
Garcia (15-8) is most comfortable standing and brawling, but Grice wasn't going to play his game, as he took Garcia down early and often. Grice came closest to finishing the fight in the first round with an impressive North-South choke, but Garcia managed to escape. But he couldn't escape Grice's impressive ground work over the course of the fight.
The victory was the fifth in Grice's last six fights. But it was his first in the UFC since defeating Jason Black at UFC 77 in 2007.
"Oh my gosh, it's been a long time," said Grice (15-4). "God willing, I was able to come back with a lot of help with my friends, family, co-workers. I know it wasn't the most exciting fight, but, Leonard's a tough guy. I just stuck with the takedowns, it was working for me."
Garcia gained notice by defeating Chan Sung Jung on a split decision at WEC 48 in a bout considered by many to be 2009's Fight of the Year. Since then, though, he's 1-4.