Jose Garcia is a combat sports recovery coach who has worked with the likes of Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz and current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Garcia, with a base out of California, has been involved in the world of health and fitness for 25 years now, as a trainer, athlete and coach. His job is to make sure fighters are 100-percent healthy when they enter a training camp for an upcoming fight.
“We work to make sure there is no kind of injuries before an athlete starts training in camp,” said Garcia, during an exclusive interview with FightLine.com. “We want the fighter to be healthy and ready for camp so that they can focus on prepping themselves.”
Garcia got his big break into the MMA world when Nick Diaz brought him in prior to facing Paul Daley in Strikeforce. Diaz, who takes part in triathlons when he isn’t fighting, was so impressed with the recovery and repair work that Garcia did, he used him before recent bouts with BJ Penn and Carlos Condit, the latter of which was for the interim UFC welterweight title.
“Basically, I was really lucky,” Garcia said. He has also been enlisted with American Kickboxing Academy thanks to his long-time friendship with AKA trainer Javier Mendez.
“I’ve worked camps with Phil Baroni, (Muhammed) King Mo (Lawal), Shawn Bunch,” Garcia said. “And, with athletes like Nick and Nate, the guys from AKA like (Daniel) Cormier, Velasquez, (Mike) Swick; these are such good talents, but they understand what recovery and repair does and how it impacts their careers.
“It’s all about longevity in MMA. Once you reach a certain level of performance, how long can you keep up that level of performance? If you can’t retain a certain level of performance, you’re not going to make it in this sport because the fighters need to perform, they need to last, and they need to be able to compete with younger guys, new talent. The only way you can do that is through recovery and repair.”
Garcia is a licensed boxing coach and cornerman, along with having his MMA license to coach and corner in California. With his expanding business and ever-growing program, though, he says remaining in the background is where he prefers to stay.
“I deal specifically with fighters,” Garcia said. “If a coach or manager brings an athlete to me and something happens – which has never happened – they are going to question why they brought the fighter to me. It’s pretty political, so I enjoy working with the fighters before they get to the actual fight and leaving the night of the fight to their specific coaches.”