UFC’s Steve Garcia’s Goal is to ‘Completely Dominate’ Seung Woo Choi

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Steve Garcia (15-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is looking to make it four straight wins when he meets Seung Woo Choi (11-6 MMA, 4-5 UFC) at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on July 20.

Garcia said Choi is “fundamentally sound for the most part” but “goes to the well a little bit too much.”

“He’s very obvious with what his favorite shots are,” Garcia told MMASucka. “He likes the cross left hook. I can see why he’s been in the UFC for as long as he has. He’s had his up-and-down streaks, but he’s a tough guy. I think he’s going to be a challenging opponent for me, and I’m excited for it.”

Garcia’s resume includes wins over Chase Hooper, Shayilan Nuerdanbieke, Melquizael Costa, Charlie Ontiveros, and a pre-UFC win over Chepe Mariscal.

Garcia has won three in a row. He credits God as one reason he’s found success.

“When I take things into my own hands, as far as life, it doesn’t go off the way I want,” Garcia said. “I’m a believer. I’m a man of faith. As long as I let God dictate my career, I’m better off. That’s one thing.”

Garcia said he learned a lot from his knockout loss to Maheshate Hayisaer in Singapore in June 2022 – his most recent loss.

“When I lost to him, I didn’t know if I was going to lose my job or whatever was going to happen,” Garcia said. “At that point, it really turned for me. I was just going to go full speed ahead. Win or lose, I was going to give everything I got. Because I did that, I have a different mindset. The effort was even more than it ever was. I don’t know, but it’s been carrying me through these past three fights. I’ve been on a streak. It made me go back down to 145. A I think there are a lot of positive things that happened from that negative thing, if that makes sense.”

Garcia said training for a solid fundamentals striker in Choi has been different from preparing for Nuerdanbieke, a “very strong wrestler,” and Costa.

“Costa actually surprised me,” Garcia said. “I thought he would want to strike some more, but Costa comes in and goes with the fight. If it’s a grappling match, it’s a grappling match. If it’s a striking match, it’s a striking match. He, at least, goes along with the fight. The difference is, when I fight them, at some point, I know how to dictate where the fight’s going to be, and I put my stamp on it and impose my will.”

Garcia said his main objective against Choi is to keep it standing.

“We both want the fight to stay where it needs to be. Anytime anybody gets hurt, you’re going to try to figure out how to survive. I think he has that in him, too, where if he needs to take someone down for a little bit to recover or vice-versa, it doesn’t really matter. He’ll find that route. He’ll take that route. Then he’ll try to get back to where he’s best at. He’s very tough. When he’s in danger, he goes for broke. Those are cool things that I like and admire about him. My goal is to go out there, completely dominate, and really just impose my will and win by any means necessary.”

A win over Choi would be four in a row for Garcia. Garcia said he hopes that would be enough to get him an opponent in the top 15 of the featherweight division, or someone on the bubble of it.

“I don’t care,” Garcia said. “Give me someone who will get me closer to the top 10, top 5. Maybe get me closer to asking for a title shot. I notice when I think too far ahead, it’s never been the best situation for me. What comes, comes. There are a lot things that are out of my hands. It’s my job. I’m not here to just fight. I’m here to really, really make an impact. I want people to remember my name. I want people to see my name on the card and be like, ‘Yeah, this guy brings it. He’s a scrapper. He’s going to give it everything he’s got’ I want to be known for that. I think [a top-15 opportunity] should be close. I’m hoping after this fight, especially.”

Garcia said he thinks he can TKO Choi in the first or third round.

“It depends on what he gives me, because he’s a very good counterstriker,” Garcia said. “When you fight a lot of counterstrikers, it’s hard because you’re fighting someone who’s waiting for you to make a mistake. I’ve got to make sure I go in there and I really focus and I stay ready the whole entire time. Not let my guard down at any moment. Capitalize on the moments that I see present themselves, and I think I can get it done.”

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Michael is a big MMA fan who enjoys interviewing the sport's athletes, writing about the sport, and just discussing it. He earned his Master's in Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and his B.A. in Journalism at Stony Brook University. He also enjoys hockey, football and baseball. Feel free to hit him up if you want to discuss MMA, or any other sport!