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UnderGround Forums >> Garcia camp disputes 'Phantom Bellator Rep' story


5/12/13 11:24 AM
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Underground Blog
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Leonard Garcia was recently released by the UFC, following five consecutive losses. Garcia is one of the most exciting fighters in the history of the sport.  A split decision win over Chan Sung Jung at WEC 48 in 2010 was called "the best fight I've seen in my life," by Joe Rogan, who has seen as many top-level fights live as anyone ever. Another fight the same year, also a winning split decision, over Nam Phan, won Fight of the Night. Garcia went on to win five more 'OTN' bonuses.

When Garcia was released, he was expected to be snatched up quickly, as a fighter generating that level of excitement comes on the open market so rarely.

Garcia told MMAFighting.com he was reluctant to review an offer from Bellator, due to public differences between the organization and both former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and former Bellator bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky.

"The good offers have come from World Series of Fighting," said Garcia. "I believe Bellator made an offer, and I haven't asked to hear it yet because my intentions are to come back to the UFC. I feel if I go to Bellator, I'll never come back. That's one of things where I'm not sure that I'm ready to hear an offer from them."

"I've also read some stories about a champion there that was promised so much money and was forced to fight for less."

"At the moment those are the stories that I'm hearing, and you can't fight for a company like that. You just can't do it. They'll hold you back. If it's true, they'll hold you back. But if it's not true, if I find out different, then I'll openly talk to them and see what they can offer."

Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney told MMAJunkie no offer was ever extended to Garcia, and that the promotion had "no interest" in the 33-year-old featherweight.

"Leonard Garcia has never been approached by our company," said Rebney. "We have never had any interest or expressed any interest in signing Leonard Garcia. But he claimed to have been approached by Bellator about signing. Now, I've got a lot of respect for anybody who steps inside the cage. I've got a lot of respect for anybody who's got the guts to be a professional mixed martial artist. But with all due respect, we had no interest in signing him."

Rebney said Garcia was not the only figure approached by a phantom Bellator rep, citing as well a Southwest gym owner and an East Coast manager.

Garcia's management, Haymaker's Empire Sports Management, told MMAJunkie that that Rebney's claim "strains credulity."

"In light of Bellator's alleged legal chicanery with their own champions like Eddie Alvarez and Zach Makovsky, and high-profile fighters like Leonard Garcia making known their desire to avoid a potentially bad situation, it is not surprising Bellator is trying to get ahead of the bad PR plaguing their promotion," said Garcia's reps in a statement to MMAJunkie. "However, this story about a 'phantom' Bellator representative making phony offers to fighters just strains credulity."

"One must wonder, if this had actually been occurring, why Bellator waited until now – after Garcia made known his and other fighters’ mistrust of their promotion – to suddenly decide to make mention of 'The Bellator Phantom. The claim appears childish and far-fetched at best."

"Haymaker’s Empire Sports Management stands behind its fighters and won’t allow them to be trashed by any organization."

Haymaker's Empire Sports Management President Jerry Villasenor said that the contact had been directly to Garcia, and not through his management team. Villasenor said that Garcia could not identify the Bellator employee in question.

"Leonard got the call the day it had been announced that he had been cut by the UFC," said Villasenor. "He received tons of calls for interviews and tons of calls from promoters expressing interest. I think once they realized that Leonard had no interest is when the 'Phantom' was born."

Garcia ultimately signed with Legacy FC, and debuts July 19 against Rey Trujillo at LFC 21.

So what do you think UG? Does anyone here know the Southwest gym owner and an East Coast manager in question? Trolling is ubiquitous on the the Internet; is it seeping like a fungus into MMA generally?


5/12/13 11:29 AM
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epwar
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Garcia is one of the most exciting fighters in the history of the sport.

Good one, UG Blog, good one!
5/12/13 11:44 AM
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Jo'donnell-Davies
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Hmm yes, hmmm. Phone Post 3.0
5/12/13 11:57 AM
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UGCTT_FryedTakayama
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Someone.....please find Jake Shields to make sense of all this shadiness. Where's Jake?! Phone Post 3.0
5/12/13 11:59 AM
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Arecsa
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epwar - 
Garcia is one of the most exciting fighters in the history of the sport.

Good one, UG Blog, good one!

Wait, swinging wildly with no technique and hitting nothing but air isn't exciting?
5/12/13 12:00 PM
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Anderson's BBC in my Goku
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"In light of Bellator's alleged legal chicanery with their own champions like Eddie Alvarez and Zach Makovsky, and high-profile fighters like Leonard Garcia making known their desire to avoid a potentially bad situation, it is not surprising Bellator is trying to get ahead of the bad PR plaguing their promotion,"

 

lol...great job by a management company to bash the second largest promotion in the world...very smart

5/12/13 12:02 PM
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Anderson's BBC in my Goku
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why dont they give the name or number of the person that called?

5/12/13 12:10 PM
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meth wizard
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It really doesn't matter if any of this is true. The fact that he brought up their past shadiness as a reason for not wanting to sign with them says a lot. I doubt he's the only recently cut UFC fighter to think this. Phone Post
5/12/13 12:16 PM
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JeffersonDArcyChoke
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I'm betting it's known behind the scenes that if you sign with Bellator; you aren't welcome back with UFC.

That would be a good intimidation tactic.

It allows WSOF to be the friendly feeder league.

This reminds me of Affliction and the whole video game deal with fighters and their rights.

I'm betting Dana and company have told guys they can go anywhere and make it back to the UFC.

Except Bellator.

Leonard wouldn't have intimated as much if that weren't as true as a locker room bonus. Phone Post
5/12/13 12:16 PM
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Brigham
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Rebney just seems like such a cunt Phone Post 3.0
5/12/13 12:19 PM
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AbbeyRoadMe
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"A split decision loss to Chan Sung Jung at WEC 48 in 2010"

Garcia won that fight but lost the UFC rematch. Phone Post 3.0
5/12/13 12:23 PM
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AbbeyRoadMe
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AbbeyRoadMe - "A split decision loss to Chan Sung Jung at WEC 48 in 2010"

Garcia won that fight but lost the UFC rematch. Phone Post 3.0
Well at least officially... Phone Post 3.0
5/12/13 12:25 PM
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Brigham
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Anderson's BBC in my Goku -

"In light of Bellator's alleged legal chicanery with their own champions like Eddie Alvarez and Zach Makovsky, and high-profile fighters like Leonard Garcia making known their desire to avoid a potentially bad situation, it is not surprising Bellator is trying to get ahead of the bad PR plaguing their promotion,"

 

lol...great job by a management company to bash the second largest promotion in the world...very smart

That's debatable. Also WSOF pays better than Bellator. Phone Post 3.0
5/12/13 12:26 PM
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spliff
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AbbeyRoadMe - "A split decision loss to Chan Sung Jung at WEC 48 in 2010"

Garcia won that fight but lost the UFC rematch. Phone Post 3.0

technically yes but no
5/12/13 12:41 PM
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PrestigeWorldwide
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I don't think bellator will be around another 2 yrs Phone Post 3.0
5/12/13 12:47 PM
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ender852
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AbbeyRoadMe - "A split decision loss to Chan Sung Jung at WEC 48 in 2010"

Garcia won that fight but lost the UFC rematch. Phone Post 3.0
Yeah, Leonard won two gift decisions and spawned the comment "an Asian brother can't get no love?" Single handedly. Also zombie won decisively in the rematch with a twister, the first man ever to do so in the ufc. Phone Post
5/12/13 12:47 PM
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OnlyTheStrongSurvive
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Brigham -
Anderson's BBC in my Goku -

"In light of Bellator's alleged legal chicanery with their own champions like Eddie Alvarez and Zach Makovsky, and high-profile fighters like Leonard Garcia making known their desire to avoid a potentially bad situation, it is not surprising Bellator is trying to get ahead of the bad PR plaguing their promotion,"

 

lol...great job by a management company to bash the second largest promotion in the world...very smart

That's debatable. Also WSOF pays better than Bellator. Phone Post 3.0
WSOF won't be around too long though, imo Phone Post
5/12/13 12:48 PM
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OnlyTheStrongSurvive
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ender852 -
AbbeyRoadMe - "A split decision loss to Chan Sung Jung at WEC 48 in 2010"

Garcia won that fight but lost the UFC rematch. Phone Post 3.0
Yeah, Leonard won two gift decisions and spawned the comment "an Asian brother can't get no love?" Single handedly. Also zombie won decisively in the rematch with a twister, the first man ever to do so in the ufc. Phone Post
If it weren't for bad decisions, Garcia is essentially on a 12 fight losing streak Phone Post
5/12/13 12:50 PM
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ender852
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Anderson's BBC in my Goku -

"In light of Bellator's alleged legal chicanery with their own champions like Eddie Alvarez and Zach Makovsky, and high-profile fighters like Leonard Garcia making known their desire to avoid a potentially bad situation, it is not surprising Bellator is trying to get ahead of the bad PR plaguing their promotion,"

 

lol...great job by a management company to bash the second largest promotion in the world...very smart

More than one manager on here has said they won't let their clients sign with bellator because of the nuts in a vice contracts Phone Post
5/12/13 1:28 PM
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91W209
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Sub'd Phone Post 3.0
5/12/13 1:31 PM
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Joeymarvelous
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Phantom Bellator Rep sounds like a rad SN. Phone Post
5/12/13 1:41 PM
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yabadaba
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Anderson's BBC in my Goku - 

why dont they give the name or number of the person that called?


"Haymaker's Empire Sports Management President Jerry Villasenor said that the contact had been directly to Garcia, and not through his management team. Villasenor said that Garcia could not identify the Bellator employee in question."

It looks like Garcia's camp has no idea whether they were contact by an official rep from Bellator or not.

5/12/13 1:44 PM
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danggook
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this is like when you hit on a fat chick, she turns you down and then tells everybody she rejected you, and you have to resort to saying 'eff that bitch she's too fat there's no way I would be interested in her' Phone Post
5/12/13 2:13 PM
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madmav
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lol... beware of 'The Phantom Cunt"  =D 

5/12/13 2:29 PM
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Gullivers Travels
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I was thinking this story sounded odd when Bjorn mentioned it.

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