Nam Phan showed no hesitation in accepting a fight with Matt Grice for UFC 136 after Josh Grispi was forced out due to injury.
UFC 136 takes place October 8 from the Toyota Center in Houston. The main event is set for a lightweight championship match between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.
Phan (16-9) has lost his first two fights in the UFC after appearing on The Ultimate Fighter, and had no problems taking a fight on short notice to try and get that elusive first win.
“I didn’t know I was going to get back into it this fast,” Phan said. “I took one week off and in that week, I just tried to eat as much bad food as I could. My body is very polluted from all the greasy food and candy, chocolate cake and stuff…it’s tough, but I’m getting back into it for sure.”
Phan lost to Leonard Garcia by split decision last December and former WEC champion Mike Brown earlier this month. All total, he is just 1-4 in his last five professional fights – the bouts on TUF do not count as pro fights.
“Look, Grispi got hurt and we’re looking for some ninjas, maybe some chop-saki-flying-spinning-triple-axe-kicks. Do you know anybody that can do that,” Phan said when UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby called about needing an opponent to face Grice. “And I said, ‘You’re looking for a ninja? I’m your ninja, let’s do this.’ So he gave me a call back to confirm with Grice and here we are today.”
Grice had his four-fight win streak snapped against Ricardo Lamas in June. He is 14-4 for his career, with six knockout victories and four submission wins.
“He’s definitely a tough due. I’m going to take this fight like the Brown fight. I’m going to expect the best fighter and take it to him,” Phan said. “My observations so far with my fights: I cannot win a decision if my life depended on it. I need a finish. If it’s a decision I already know I lost, so I got to finish this guy.
“Every fight is a challenge. I have to solve the puzzle in a different way and Grice is just another problem that I need to solve.”