Knock Steve Garcia down at your own risk.
If you do, he’ll just take you to the ground and do bad things to you.
Garcia, an MMA fighter from Rio Rancho and Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink, defeated Texan Charlie Ontiveros by second-round TKO Saturday on a UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was Garcia’s first UFC victory and improved his overall record to 12-4. Ontiveros is 11-8.
Garcia appeared to be in trouble early, knocked down by the taller Ontiveros twice in the fight’s first minute. But after the second knockdown, instead of trying to get up, Garcia scored a takedown. Ontiveros got to his feet briefly, but Garcia again took him to the ground and finished the round on top, landing some hard shots just before the round ended. Ontiveros went back to his corner bloodied and a bit unsteady.
Garcia was dropped again in the first few seconds of the second round, but again used that position to score a takedown. This time, he didn’t let Ontiveros back up — battering him with elbows until referee Chris Tognoni stopped the slaughter at the 1 minute, 51-second mark.
In the Octagon afterward, Garcia said he expected taking the fight to the ground would work to his advantage.
“I kind of figured that I would have to at some point, because (Ontiveros’) striking and his length is very dangerous. … If I needed (ground-and-pound), I know that was gonna be my go-to.”
Saturday’s fight was Garcia’s second at the 155-pound lightweight limit, having spent most of his career at bantamweight (135) and featherweight (145).
He said he plans to campaign at lightweight going forward.
“I’m just gonna continue to grow and build a little bit more mass,” he said.