Steve Garcia is known as the “Mean Machine.” He is one of the top featherweight contender in the southwest United States. In the entire country, he’s number 11 according to Tapology. He is coming off a win at LFA 80 with a nasty knockout. We took a little time to get to know him after his win!
Listen to the whole podcast with Steve Garcia below!
Steve Garcia started training MMA when the sport was in its early days. He, like many mixed martial artists, started learning to protect himself.
“Honestly I started when I was 16 years old,” says Garcia. “The sport wasn’t popular back then, it was in the early stages. I was getting into some trouble at school. I wanted to learn how to protect myself. My dad told me about this guy. All I knew about was boxing. He told me knows a guy who does this combat martial arts stuff. My dad said next time he sees him he will talk to him about it. We had that conversation at Walmart. They invited me to the gym the next day and I haven’t stopped training since.”
His game plan going into LFA 80 wasn’t extravagant. He knew he was the better fighter and just had to go out and execute. He was out to fight his fight.
“Honestly I was just trying to land my punches. I knew if I did that I would stun him and win the fight. The only way he was going to take that fight from me was if he smothered me and I was going to do everything to prevent that.”
Garcia planned on giving Mariscal his hardest fight. When Mariscal fell down he jumped on top of him and finished the fight.
“I was going to make him work. He gave me enough distance to get my shots off. And honestly, he fell down underneath me. The moment I can get you there and I can establish elbows, I can press you.”
There was a bit of controversy with the finish. Allegedly, Garcia hit his opponent on the back of his head which put him out. Garcia doesn’t see it that way. He says he put his shot where it needed to be and he isn’t worried about any criticism he will receive.
“I cut him on top the head. You can see it as a bad stoppage or you can see it because of a cut. As soon as that happened he was just bleeding from his head. A lot of people said it could have been an illegal shot. From what I’d told, the back of the head is the off switch. And I landed an elbow right above his ear. I know what people say about it, all I know is that I didn’t hit him in the back of the head. I’m hoping that people see it that way. If they don’t, I’m sorry. You could have let the fight go, it would have been the same thing.”
Steve Garcia and the UFC
Steve Garcia was one step from making it to the UFC. He was on the Contender Series. While he got the win and the finish but not the contract. He’s still aiming to land in the UFC.
“The UFC is my goal. The reason why they didn’t give me the contract because I missed weight. He was very nice with me, it was just short notice and unfortunate. Mick Maynard called and asked if I wanted the fight. I didn’t cut the full 30, but I cut down 20 pounds. You still take the fight. I need to put my skill set in front of Dana White, Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard. They liked what they saw. They definitely got their eyes on me. We will be seeing what they got in the future.”
Garcia has had his shot to get the call up, but the stars haven’t aligned.
“Right after the Contender Series, they wanted to see if I could fill in on UFC China the next weekend. My hands were still busted and I was just recovering and I couldn’t do it. Then they called one more time and it was a seven day notice [fight] but I was on my honeymoon in the Bahamas. It would have cost me money to fly back, me and my wife, and and to drop the weight that fast. It wasn’t a good choice for me to do at the time. I just don’t want to go to the UFC and embarrass myself, you know what I mean? I want to make sure I’m prepared and put on good performances. I take pride in that.”
Garcia missed weight before his last fight. Cutting weight is only a recent issue for Steve Garcia. But he is taking the issue seriously. He is seeing a professional to get the issue under control.
“I’ve never had issues until recently. You can go back to all my fights. I’ve always made weight. Professionally, that was my first time in 14 fights. I haven’t had real issues until last year. Honestly, I’m probably going to go to the doctor and making sure everything is okay with my thyroid and just to make sure that my body is functioning real good. I’ve never had those issues before. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but I do know is that I’m trying to fix it and everything goes the right way from now on.”
Training at JacksonWink
Training at JacksonWink, Garcia thinks he is in the best gym in the world. He has a utility of weapons to train with and grow with.
“That’s my gym right there! Let me tell you something, I was there when it was old school too, and it was a war house. It’s better now when it comes to training. You really just got to be a shark in that gym and if you’re not, you’re going to be eventually. And that’s what I did, I just trained there until I became a shark. Now, I’m one of the top fighters there as well. I love it there, I have the best coaches in the world, the best training partners in the world. Plenty of people in the UFC, plenty of people in Bellator. We got the cream of the crop there. We’re going strong, really. We’re getting stronger. There’s a new wave of MMA breed that’s coming in. You’re going to see that here in the next year or two.”
Jon Jones just defended his light heavyweight title. He defeated Dominick Reyes via unanimous decision. He touted Jones skills and predicted he would win the UFC 247 fight.
“Jon Bones Jones dude, that’s my guy. He’s a friend of mine. I might be a little biased, but how can you go against the GOAT? You know what I mean? Bones is probably the hardest worker in the gym, he’s very smart he’s serious too. It’s going to be very hard for Dominick Reyes to come anywhere near him without getting popped. Bones is going to get another defense of the belt.”