UFC Vegas 21: Who is Rafa Garcia?

Get to know newly-signed lightweight and undefeated prospect, Rafa Garcia, ahead of his UFC debut on Saturday from Las Vegas.

Rafa Garcia is the latest addition to the UFC’s talent-rich lightweight division. Hailing from Mexico, the 12-0 prospect made the move official in a recent Instagram post.

“Thank God we already have a date and we are more than ready,” Garcia wrote via translation from Instagram. “This Saturday, we went out to defend the flag in the Octagon of the UFC. We are ready to put Mexico on high. I hope to have all [of] your support. This goes out to all my people. We will go out to finish the fight and come out with the hand up high.”

Garcia will fill in on two days notice during the UFC Vegas 21 preliminary card, replacing Don Madge. The news was first reported by MMAFighting March 10. 

He will face long-time veteran, Nasrat Haqparast, in his promotional debut. Garcia’s most recent victory came against Humberto Bandenay in February, as he won by unanimous decision during Combate Americas 55. Prior to the decision victory, Garcia was primarily a knockout artist, having stopped the likes of Erik Gonzalez, Estevan Payan, and LaRue Burley.

Garcia also holds a win over Chase Gibson, who was a DWCS alumni and last defeated Thai Clark in Oct. 2020.

Who is Nasrat Haqparast?

Haqparast has been competing in the UFC since Oct. 2017. He has fought the likes of Joaquin Silva and Drew Dober thus far, as his last outing took place in Aug. 2020. A unanimous decision win against Alex Munoz put him back in the win column for the first time in a year, which improved his overall record to 12-3 as a professional.

Similarly to Garcia, Haqparast looks for the finish, as nine of his 12 victories have come by KO/TKO.

Will Haqparast hand Garcia his first loss, or will Garcia start off his UFC career on the right foot? The world will know the answer Saturday night.

UFC Vegas 21 takes place on Saturday, March 13, 2021, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.

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