By John Morgan/TAGG Radio Network
Less than 24 hours after Leonard Garcia’s (11-3) successful WEC debut, there is only one thought on his mind: getting back in the gym.
“Right now, I just called out one of the baddest dudes out there, so I got to get to work,” Garcia said.
After an impressive first-round TKO over Shooto and K-1 Hero’s veteran Hiroyuki Takaya (9-5-1), Garcia called out current WEC featherweight champion Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (20-1) in his post-fight interview.
Garcia was a guest on Thursday’s edition of TAGG Radio (www.taggradio.com), a content partner of MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), and discussed the fight and his future plans.
“Urijah is a superstar, man,” Garcia said. “He just makes things up as he goes. I’m going to have to be ready for whatever he brings. So, it’s time to get back to work.”
Faber will likely next fight former UFC champion Jens Pulver, though a date for the bout hasn’t officially been announced. Regardless, with his own move to the WEC, Garcia said he feels confident after his drop from lightweight to featherweight, despite the win being his first fight at 145 lbs.
“It was a great cut for me,” Garcia said. “I was 149 (lbs.) when I woke up in the morning… It was real natural for me. I feel more athletic and a lot stronger at this weight. I think it was a great move for me.”
Garcia credits his excitement to return to the gym to his new affiliation with Jackson’s Submission Fighting in Albuquerque, N.M.
“Up until last year, I’ve never been to an MMA camp,” Garcia said. “This place has been a huge difference. I’m learning everything — submissions every day, guard passes. I’m still learning all these things. I’m still growing as a fighter.”
Garcia first caught many MMA fans’ eyes in two recent 15-minute wars in the UFC with lightweight contender Roger Huerta (20-1-1) and up-and-comer Cole Miller (13-3). But although those battles are memorable, Garcia said he prefers the type of quick finishes he displayed on Wednesday night.
“Any time you can end it early, that’s nice,” Garcia said. “Don’t get me wrong, I look back at the Roger Huerta fight, and I enjoy watching it. It’s one of those things that I enjoy being able to go to. But we’re fighters; we want to last long in this game. I don’t mind having a war if I have to, but if I can end it early, I definitely will. The sooner the better for me.”
No plans for a Garcia-Faber fight have been rumored yet, but that won’t stop Garcia from hitting the gym as soon as possible to begin the preparation.
“I don’t party or anything,” Garcia said. “I actually was going to go down there (Thursday) and do a little bit of drilling, but coach was telling me, â??You need the weekend off.’ I’ll be back ready to go on Monday.”
To hear the full interview, download Thursday’s edition of TAGG Radio, available for free in the TAGG Radio archives.
This story was produced by TAGG Radio specially for MMAjunkie.com. The show — which is hosted by fighter/broadcaster Frank Trigg, Gorgeous George and Goze — books some of the biggest names in MMA. Download all the former episodes at www.taggradio.com, or tune into TAGG Radio’s live shows Monday-Friday at noon ET/9 a.m. PT.