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Combat sports notes: ‘Mean Machine’ Garcia receives gig on UFC card

Steve Garcia, shown celebrating his victory over Andre Whitney on an MMA card held May 10, 2019 at Isleta Casino, has a fight this coming Aug. 8 on an UFC card a gainst Peter Barrett. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Rio Rancho MMA fighter Steve Garcia is scheduled to face New Englander Peter Barrett in a featherweight fight Aug. 8 on a UFC card.

Garcia (11-4) confirmed the booking, first reported by mmajunkie.com, on his Instagram page.

“Cats out of the bag,” Garcia posted. “We got ourselves a fight! Lets rock and roll!”

Garcia will join former New Mexican Nicco Montaño on the Aug. 8 card, expected to be staged with no fans in attendance at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Montaño (4-3), a former Albuquerque resident who now lives and trains in Las Vegas, is scheduled to face Julia Avila (8-1).

Barrett, who hails from Plymouth, Massachusetts, will be making his UFC debut. He earned a UFC contract with an impressive victory over Sang Hoon Yoo last August on Dana White’s Tuesday Contender Series.

Garcia, who trains in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink, also won impressively on the Contender Series, just a week before Barrett’s appearance. But Garcia was denied a UFC contract at the time because he missed weight for that fight.

Making weight has been a recurring problem for Garcia. He failed to make the 135-pound bantamweight limit for his November 2018 fight against Tucumcari’s Abel Cullum on a Jackson-Wink Fight Night card, then came in overweight for a featherweight (145 pounds) fight against Jose Mariscal on an LFA card.

Garcia won both of those fights impressively, though, and was awarded a UFC contract in February.

Fighting on five days’ notice, he lost his UFC debut by unanimous decision against Luis Peña. The fight was contested at the lightweight limit of 155 pounds.

Garcia, nicknamed “The Mean Machine,” will need to get lean – back to 145 – for the Barrett fight.

BROWN IN: Chris “Breezy” Brown (5-2), Garcia’s Jackson-Wink teammate, is scheduled to face Californian Salaiman Ahmadyar (7-2) on a July 17 LFA card in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Brown told KRQE-TV he’s moving to the 170-pound welterweight division after competing at lightweight in the past.

The LFA, following the UFC’s lead, has scheduled four cards in Sioux Falls this month with no fans in attendance. The cards will be streamed on UFC Fight Pass, a subscription service.

LOST AND FOUND: Holly Holm and River, her miniature Australian Shepherd, are back together.

On Wednesday, Holm was training for her Aug. 1 fight in Las Vegas against Mexico’s Irene Aldana when River got away from a dog-sitter. But early the following morning, Holm got the welcome news that the 9-month-old dog had been found.

“She is good and well with just some raw paw pads from running so hard yesterday,” Holm posted on Instagram. “Thank you thank you everyone! My heart is so happy.”

YES, AUG. 1: For a few days, the UFC website had listed the Holm-Aldana card as scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 2. The date has since been changed back to the original listing, Saturday, Aug. 1.

The fight between Albuquerque’s Holm (13-5) and Aldana (12-5), of Guadalajara, is the main event.

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