Ryan Garcia plans to retire from boxing at 26 then potentially move to the UFC

Could one of boxing’s brightest and younger stars be bound for the UFC? One of the most popular figures in boxing right now is WBC interim lightweight champion, Ryan Garcia (21-0). Garcia in a way is like the modern day Oscar De La Hoya.

He’s got the look and he’s got the skill to become a superstar. His skills in the boxing ring have led him to the interim WBC lightweight championship and a 21-0 record before he’s even turned 23 years old.

The plan has been in place for Garcia to lead the boxing world for years to come. However, Garcia has different plans. In fact, he’s not planning on sticking around in boxing very long.

Garcia was on the Rich Eisen Show this week and he talked about his desire to walk away from boxing at 26. He wants to retire undefeated and only fight if people truly believe he can’t win. Once he conquers all boxing challengers, he only sees one arena where people would doubt him.

That arena would be the UFC. Garcia mentioned a possible transition to MMA saying, “Say at 26 I retire and boxing is all good, right? You know what I’ll do? I’ll go prove to them (doubters) that I’m the best fighter all-around in the world. I will go to MMA to prove a point.”

Ryan Garcia to the UFC

It is worth nothing that Garcia has had some back and forth with former two-division UFC champion, Henry Cejudo (16-2). Granted, the talks centered around Cejudo potentially going to boxing to face Garcia.

I completely understand where Ryan Garcia is coming from. He wants to prove that no matter what the discipline is, he’s the best fighter in the world. However, that’s much easier said than done.

The reality is, nobody in the UFC’s bantamweight division could throw hands with Ryan Garcia. In pure boxing, he’s going to light up anyone in that division. We’re talking about one of the best boxers in the world here.

However, there is so much more to this than just your hands. Garcia would be young enough to really focus on MMA training if he wanted to make that transition, but it would take a long time to really learn.

He would have to learn how to defend/check kicks. Garcia would have to learn how to stop a takedown. Garcia would have to learn how to get out of submissions. He would have to learn how to get out of clinch positions along the fence.

In my opinion, the transition is so much easier for wrestler/grappler based athletes than pure strikers. For example, take Dillon Danis (2-0). Danis was purely a jiu jitsu competitor before transitioning to MMA.

It’s easier for an elite grappler to learn the skills of striking versus a striker learning all the other aspects. Garcia is an elite boxing. However, he’s extremely flat-footed when he boxes.

Think about some of the elite fighters in the UFC. They’d either light up his legs with kicks or take him straight to the ground and without being light on his feet, he’d have no answer. Garcia is young enough to learn the arts and make the jump, but it’s a lot more difficult than he’s making it sound.

Boxing: Ryan Garcia vs Luke Campbell Fight Preview

Tonight, two of the best lightweight boxers in the world go head to head in a bout that could define both their careers. Former ESPN prospect of the year Ryan Garcia (20-0) had been deemed a “pretty boy” by the boxing community, but he faces the toughest task of his young career tonight when he goes against a hungry vet in Luke Campbell. Campbell (20-3) is fighting to avenge his last loss, over a year ago, against Vasyl Lomachenko. With so much on the line for both men, with one of the two becoming a mandatory challenger for Devin Haney’s world title, this bout is sure to be full of fireworks. Here are the keys for each fighter to come out with their hand raised at the end of the evening.

Ryan Garcia: Pick His Punches

To this point, Garcia’s last two bouts both ended with quick first-round knockouts. With an 85% knockout percentage, in fact, his last fight to go over 2 rounds was in 2018. Garcia has lightning-quick speed and a left hook that still gives Romero Duno and Francisco Fonseca nightmares. Garcia needs to stay calm, though, and I don’t doubt he will be able to.

Despite his flashy persona, Garcia has been relatively quiet and collected in camp. He’s been all business in the way he’s collected himself and trained, but will that carry over into tonight’s bout? My best guess is yes. Garcia needs to listen to one of the best in the business, and his trainer, Eddie Reynoso, and just pick his shots. Campbell tends to fight with his hands down at times, and Garcia noticed that in the south paw’s style when he did a preview with DAZN for the bout. Garcia looked almost giddy when he saw the opportunities he would capitalize on for a knockout.

One thing with Garcia in this bout that is concerning is his lack of distance in his career. He’s not gone the distance in a long time, and Campbell has the heart of a lion. If he can’t put Campbell away, and the fight wears on, Campbell may have a chance. Otherwise, if Garcia can pick his shots and incorporate some body shots as well, the bout could be over quickly.

Luke Campbell: Stay “Cool”/Don’t Get Overwhelmed

Luke “cool hand” Campbell needs to stay poised in this bout. The veteran has gone the distance with one of the best in Loma. The thing is, Ryan Garcia is one of the fastest young punchers in the sport right now. Garcia tends to hit his opponents so quickly and with such ferocity that they tend to get discombobulated, and then, it’s over.

Campbell can win this fight by being prepared. If he is ready to go against Garcia and eat those quick and fiery shots, he could make this go the distance. As I said before, the longer this fight goes, the more the odds change. Campbell needs to stay calm, cool, and collected if he wants to win this bout. That doesn’t mean he can’t be that passionate and heartfelt fighter that boxing fans know and love, but he needs to not let that fog his judgment. If he does let that fog his judgment, he’ll be laying on the mat.

Prediction: Garcia by KO in Round 4

I think that Garcia is ultimately more ready for this bout physically and mentally. I just hope for his sake he doesn’t overlook the task ahead of him in Campbell. Campbell is scrappy and will give his heart and soul to win this bout. Both men need this win but whoever is more prepared and more poised wins this bout. I think Garcia ends it with his traditional quick punch knockout, but Campbell is definitely an upset candidate.

UFC: Henry Cejudo gearing up to fight Ryan Garcia following retirement

UFC, Henry Cejudo

The UFC is a revolving door of excitement in unpredictability, and recently retired fighter Henry Cejudo is gearing up to fight Ryan Garcia, who is 12 years younger.

Cejudo, who is 33 years old and recently retired from the UFC, remains ingrained in the cultural nuances that make it so exciting in the first place. Garcia, who is 21 years old, has boasted his arrogance and confidence in the past, and Cejudo feels he must be the one to calm him down.

Garcia, who often posts videos of his lightning-quick hands and mobility one of the best young fighters on the scene, and this bout with certainly put him on the map.

Garcia, who is 20-0, is the latest phenom to enter the fold, and while there is no offer on the table currently for Cejudo to face off against the young boxer, something could materialize quickly.

Per TMZ:

“I feel like I have the tools, the power, the strength, the experience and we wanna make this happen.

“Ryan Garcia, you absolutely make me sick man. I would make you bend the knee so quick, you have no idea. You can throw about 100 punches, but it only takes one of mine to make you bend the knee, so sign the contract baby!”