Garcia vows to come back after UFC axe

May 9, 2013
Leonard Garcia was involved in 2010's fight of the year with Chan Sung Jung © Getty Images

Veteran featherweight Leonard Garcia, whose aggressive fighting style made him a fan favorite, announced on Wednesday that UFC released him.

"Got let go by UFC," the 33-year-old Garcia said on Twitter. "Thanks for everything. I'll be back better [than] ever.

"Thanks to all my friends, this is a great reality check. [It's] time to get back on the grind, with God all things are possible. Hard work will pay off."

A former lightweight, Garcia made his featherweight debut February 13, 2008, against Hiroyuki Takaya at WEC 32.

Garcia earned the second knockout of his pro career that night, stopping Takaya in the opening round. Emboldened by increased punching power at featherweight, Garcia thrilled fans with his willingness to go toe-to-toe with opponents.

He won several "Fight of the Night" awards while competing in WEC and UFC. His action-packed bout with Chan Sung Jung in April 2010 was dubbed fight of the year.

But Garcia (15-11-1) has failed to win a single fight in five tries in nearly two and a half years. His most recent victory was a split decision over Nam Phan in December 2010.

UFC also released featherweight Bart Palaszewski on Wednesday, the fighter tweeted.

"I would like to thank them and [matchmaker] Sean Shelby for all the opportunities and great times. We shall see what's next," Palaszewski said on Twitter.

Palaszewski, 29, has a record of 36-17. He has lost three in a row and four of his five most recent fights.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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