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Home MMA Exclusive Interview with Elias “Smash” Garcia: From Civilian to Cage Beast in Four Years
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Exclusive Interview with Elias “Smash” Garcia: From Civilian to Cage Beast in Four Years

 elisa-smash-garcia-mma-fighterElias "Smash" Garcia is a character in every sense of the word: the Corpus Christi, Texas native and full-time Mixed Martial Artist (MMA) is a gregarious person with a quick wit and a zany nature.  One simply has to check out his Facebook page to understand that "Smash" has the kind of personality to become a bona-fide star in the sport.
 
But anyone thinking this playful approach outside of the cage translates to Garcia not being a force to contend with in a fight needs to immediately disabuse this notion; one does not earn the nickname "Smash" without good reason.  Speaking to ConvictedArtistMagazine.com, Garcia clarified that the origin of his cage name came after knocking out a fighter 40 seconds into the first round of Garcia's second amateur fight.  "I really laid the guy out pretty good and the medics came and took him out on a stretcher," Garcia said.  "The guy was out for a while so that's when everyone started calling me 'Smash.'"

Prior to 2010, Garcia's fighting experience was in the streets.  Bullied as a child due to his size, "Smash" initially resorted to mutual combat.  Garcia explained that he did not know "if it was puberty or what, but one day, I had a bully come at me and I just snapped - and it was on."  He added that he continued to get into minor scrapes; but unlike many of his blood sports brethren, Garcia did not partake in learning martial arts at a young age.  In fact, his journey to becoming a professional combatant began much later in his life, as Garcia recalled, "I always wanted to get into boxing but my mother never let me."  Garcia enlisted in the military in 2005, when he was forced to "mature quick." He added, "It wasn't until 2010 when I was in the Coast Guard (active duty) and I transferred out of a Fast Action Response team to a desk job that I started training for [MMA].  A buddy of mine invited me to train and I fell in love with it."

Six months later, "Smash" had his first amateur fight, and compiled a successful MMA amateur career with a record of six wins and two losses.  He is currently signed to a promotional contract with Legacy Fighting Championship, and his record stands at four wins and two losses (with Garcia dropping his last two contests).  Although many would be quick to question his viability as a prizefighter, Garcia assessed the situation by saying, "I won my first four [pro] fights and then I faced Olympic gold medalist [freestyle wrestler] Henry Cejuro. I knew that was going to be a ground fight, especially after I caught him [with a punch] and I almost knocked him out in the first round.  I unfortunately broke my hand and then he just kept taking me down after that.  I ended up losing a decision so I really started working on my wrestling as that was obviously a weakness."  

Regarding his last fight, Garcia said, "Henry [Cejuro] was supposed to fight Damacio [Page] but he pulled out so I got offered the fight with 21 days before the fight. I grew up watching Damacio and felt like it was going to be a standup fight because he's a banger, so I said, 'Hell yeah.'  Next thing I know is Damacio takes me down, holds me down and then beats me by submission.  It really opened my eyes like, 'Shit!  If Damacio did that, then that's what everyone is going to try to do to me?'"  Despite the loss, "Smash" has not lost his passion or his enthusiasm for the sport.  He reported, "I've been focused on really improving my ground game and getting better."  Garcia explained his optimism, stating, "Considering that I started to train late for the sport and looking at how far I've come and how much I've accomplished in such a short amount of time, I honestly believe that I have what it takes to compete at the highest levels and do something in this sport."

Garcia is looking to get back into the cage soon and is hoping to continue to improve his ground game in order to be able to compete at the highest levels.  Consider that in forty-eight months, “Smash” has gone from never having officially trained in any kind of blood sport to being at the cusp of world-class recognition alone makes this tough Texan one to watch.  Time will tell if Garcia will ever reach the top but it is obvious that no matter what happens, it will be exciting to watch.     

Sergio L. Martinez
www.convictedartist.com

photo by TexasFighting.com

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