Leonard Garcia wanted a rematch with Nam Phan badly. | Photo:
It’s usually the fighter who loses a bout that wants a rematch.
Garcia got the call to fight Nam Phan again
Saturday at UFC
136, though, he accepted in “three-tenths of a second” despite
winning their first encounter.
“This fight was real important to me,” Garcia told the Sherdog
Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “… The way it felt for me
the first time we were in the cage, before I had seen the fight, I
felt like I was getting beat. I didn’t feel good about the
decision, so I offered him a rematch right away. I was a man of my
word and tried to do it, and of course it fell through and he got
injured. Now we have a chance to go in there and rewrite it.”
Garcia won that first contest in December 2010 via a very
controversial split decision. It wasn’t his best showing by any
stretch, but he did take the fight on short notice. He’d just eaten
Thanksgiving dinner when the UFC called to see what he weighed.
After stepping on a scale at 172 pounds, he agreed to make 145 in
“My whole training camp for Nam last time was a sweatsuit and a
treadmill,” Garcia said. “That’s all it was. That’s all I was able
to do for eight days. A little bit of pad work but not much. All I
really did for that camp was lose weight.”
Garcia feels that he had a good first round but that Phan took the
second. In the third, he said both men sat back and tried to catch
“It was one of those fights where I wasn’t happy throughout the
whole fight,” Garcia said. “I remember in between rounds I was
like, ‘What the f--k did I get myself into? I’m tired.’ It was just
bad thoughts going through my mind. … I took all those feelings
into the training camp with me this time. Every time I felt like
that, when I was tired getting in shape for this one, I just pushed
through it. I know that I can because I was able to push through in
Some of Phan’s postfight comments have also motivated Garcia.
“I respect Nam as a fighter,” Garcia said. “I think he’s a great
fighter. I just don’t like him as a person. Some of the stuff he
said after that last fight was stuff that I felt like he was taking
some personal blows at me. Now I’m going in with a chip on my
For the rematch, Garcia has had four weeks to prepare. That’s not
exactly a full training camp, but the Jackson’s MMA product said
it’s plenty of time to deliver a much better performance.
“I think Nam’s not going to come out and try to stand with me,”
Garcia said. “I think he’s going to try to take me down. I’m eager
to show people my jiu-jitsu skills and my wrestling skills. If he
tries to stand, it won’t be anything like it was the first
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 1:25:06).