The Ultimate Fighter 12 cast member Nam Phan was picked as a favorite to sweep the entire competition early on, but lost to eventual runner up Michael Johnson in the semi-final round. The experienced 27-year old was invited back to the promotion to compete on the TUF 12 Finale, where he fought Greg Jackson-trained Leonard Garcia.
The two featherweights battled it out for a full three rounds, and though it seemed clear to most that Phan deserved the win, the judges awarded a split decision victory to Garcia. In addition to giving Phan his win bonus, the UFC also organized a rematch between Garcia and Phan, which is expected to go down this March 26th. Phan discussed their first bout and the impending rematch with MMAInterviews.com.
“I fought Leonard Garcia on December 4th at ‘The Ultimate Fighter Finale’ and I thought I was doing pretty good,” said Phan. “I thought I beat him three rounds to zero, I thought I got 30-27 all three rounds, but it didn’t turn out that way.”
Phan told MMAInterviews that he had moved on from the fight and that he believes Garcia was the one pushing for a rematch out of anger over the popular opinion that he truly lost the fight.
“I think it’s something Leonard wanted to do more than I did,” said Phan. “I felt like I beat him and I think most people felt that I beat him. I have nothing to prove. For me, I don’t dwell on the past. …I didn’t push for it but I think Leonard was irritated at all the comments everyone was giving him.”
Phan and Garcia are scheduled to square off on the upcoming UFC Fight Night: Ortiz vs. Nogueira
fight card, which will take place at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington.