Nam Phan has a decade of professional MMA experience. | Photo: Dave Mandel


Nam Phan is only 28 years old, but he sees himself as the grizzled veteran ahead of his UFC 141 bout Friday against Jim “The Kid” Hettes.

“I’m not that old, but it almost feels like I’m the old dog and he’s like the new up-and-comer now,” Phan told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.”

Hettes is in fact a young talent. The 24-year-old debuted in the Octagon at UFC Live 5 in August, submitting Alex Caceres with a rear-naked choke. He’s faced eight other opponents and he submitted all of them too.

“I know very little about him,” Phan said. “… I know his statistics on Sherdog: 9-0, all submission wins. That says a lot. That means he’s good at jiu-jitsu. That’s something I’ve got to watch out for.”

Hettes began fighting in regional events in 2009. Phan, in contrast, has been competing professionally for more than a decade. Most recently he avenged a controversial split decision loss to Leonard Garcia by earning a unanimous decision in the October rematch. If Phan had lost that fight, it would have been his third straight defeat and he might have been cut.

“I can kind of move on with my career and put the whole Leonard saga behind me now,” he said. “Just fight like a normal fighter. Still try to put on a good fight, but not [with] the kind of pressure that I’ve got to fight for my job. There’s a lot of anxiety when that’s on you.”

Of course, Phan doesn’t believe his performance against Garcia put him in the position to turn down a bout. That’s why he agreed to a quick turnaround against Hettes.

“I only fought six weeks ago,” Phan said. “I feel like I need a little break and maybe fight early next year, but the UFC called me and told me to fight Jimmy Hettes, and when they call, you’ve got to take it because you don’t know when’s the next time they’re going to call you. There’s fighters in the UFC that want to fight, that can’t get fights. You’ve got to take it when they still want you to fight for them.”

But now Phan could be in a tough spot. He’s fighting a hungry up-and-comer he hasn’t been able to research much, and from what Phan has seen, he considers Hettes “very good.”

“He’s fighting in the UFC for a reason,” Phan said. “I have a lot of experience against pretty high-level guys. From my experience, I know not to overlook anyone or underestimate anyone. I just train for everyone like it’s my last fight.”

Obviously Hettes has a dangerous submission game. Phan isn’t so sure about his opponent’s standup skills, though.

“It didn’t seem like he’s much of a striker,” Phan said. “… I don’t need to worry about him trying to knock me out too much. There’s always a chance, but I think for this guy, I’ve got to be more aware of the grappling aspect of the fight.”

With that in mind, Phan sounds focused on defending submissions and keeping the fight on the feet. Against Garcia and others, he’s proven to be an adept striker, and he’ll look to use those skills to overwhelm Hettes as well.

“I feel like I’ve got to be like Manny Pacquiao in this fight and throw a thousand punches,” Phan said. “I’ve just got to keep putting a beating on this kid.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:36:26).

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Former Strikeforce lightweight champ Josh Thomson signs with Bellator MMA

  • 22 days ago
  • 5 views

Former Strikeforce lightweight champ and seven-time UFC veteran Josh Thomson is the latest addition to the Bellator MMA roster.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator 141: 'Healthy' AJ Matthews kicked the bottle ... now he wants to kick Emiliano Sordi

  • 22 days ago
  • 9 views

Five-time Bellator MMA veteran A.J. Matthews makes his return to the cage on later this month (Fri., Aug. 28, 2015) in Temecula, Calif., for a tough Middleweight showdown with Emiliano Sordi. And a l read news >>

Rafael dos Anjos calls Conor McGregor a "chicken", feels a fight against him would be "easy money".

  • 23 days ago
  • 45 views

The UFC 155-pound champion feels, "chicken" Conor McGregor is "not even close to the top five" of the featherweight division and would like to fight him at lightweight. It has just been announced tha read news >>

Koscheck: 'I've done more for the UFC than Nogueira'

  • 24 days ago
  • 176 views

UFC veteran Josh Koscheck as joined the Viacom ranks and he's got a lot to say about Zuffa's recent policy shifts and some of their internal decision making on his way out the door. read news >>

UFC will want to give Glover Teixeira another title shot after winning performance against Ovince Saint Preux tonight

  • 25 days ago
  • 9 views

"G-Tex" sees a second shot at gold in his near future if he is able to thwart the offensive attack of "OSP" tonight in Nashville ... Fighters ache, break bones and pull out of fights all the time. In read news >>

RFA 28 Results and Fight Highlights: Andrew Sanchez Takes the Belt

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

Andrew Sanchez, an RFA veteran, took the fight to John Poppie in the RFA 28 main event, capturing the middleweight title in the process. read news >>

Pic: Hulk Hogan 'feels safe' thanks to big hug from Ronda Rousey

  • 27 days ago
  • 25 views

Poor Hulkster. Former WWE champion Hulk Hogan was dumped by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) -- a company he helped put on the map nearly 30 years ago -- after audio surfaced of N-word mania runni read news >>

UFC Fight Night 73's Ovince Saint Preux says he needed Bader loss to progress

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

NASHVILLE – With back-to-back knockout wins, Ovince Saint Preux feels like he’s starting to hit his stride. But it took a pretty significant bump in the road for him to get there. Filed under: News, read news >>

Things go south when Matt Mitrione calls out 'Bigfoot' Silva for UFC 193 in Australia

  • 28 days ago
  • 663 views

If one veteran gets his wish, November’s UFC 193 event in Australia will soon have a new heavyweight clash. It just doesn’t look likely.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Full Fight Flashback: Charles Oliveira Submits Nik Lentz at UFC Fight Night 67

  • 29 days ago
  • 9 views

Veteran Nik Lentz tried to slow down one of the UFC’s brightest prospects, Charles Oliveira, of the lightweight division at UFC Fight Night 67 and got submitted for his efforts. read news >>