Steve Garcia believes Joe Taimanglo is the perfect opponent to launch him into title contention.
Garcia is a talented young prospect coming out of the Jackson Wink MMA. The 24-year-old will step into the cage at Bellator 174 with a 7-1 record (4-1 with Bellator) to take on Taimanglo a Bellator vet with nearly four times as many fights as Garcia. The one thing Garcia’s resume is missing is a big name and Taimanglo is just that. The Jackson Wink prospect believes a win over Taimanglo is exactly what he needs to move him towards a title shot.
“It actually puts me in the mix, it puts me close to title contention just because Tiamanglo was actually supposed to actually have the title fight,” Garcia said. “He won the match between him and Caldwell he just didn’t make weight, so it put him in a worse decision. Did the rematch and ended up losing a decision, so I feel it puts me at the top, absolutely.”
It will be Garcia’s first time performing on the main card at Bellator 174. The card is home to the first ever women’s featherweight title fight. It’s a huge opportunity for Garcia. He is well aware there will be more attention on him than ever before in his career, but says he won’t allow that to interfere with his performance.
“Nothing really changes, I am excited that more people will get to see me. So that is a plus, but I am not going to put additional pressure on myself just because I am on the main card,” Garcia said. “I don’t want to make it an extra special event that will make it more stressful on me. I train very hard for all my fights and I treat them all like there title fights, so that is why I am not trying to let it interfere with my mind set.”
The Jackson Wink MMA camp is notorious for their strong game plans, so you know Garcia will be well prepared. He wasn’t willing to share too much about his game plan but did say it had a lot to do with pressure and his eight inch reach advantage.
“I definitely have a game plan, we have a game plan. All I can say is that I am going to utilize my reach and stay in his face for 15 minutes that’s pretty much what is going to happen,” Garcia said. “As long as I can utilize my reach, it will play a big role in this fight.”
Bellator 174 goes down at the Global Event Center at the WinStar World Casino & Resort in Thackerville, OK on March 3. You can watch the prelims at Bellator.com and the main card will air live on Spike TV at 9 PM.