Phan Determined to Finish Garcia in Rematch

By Sherdog.com Staff Oct 8, 2011
After the controversial decision in their first fight, Nam Phan believes he can’t let it go to the judges again when he meets Leonard Garcia on Saturday at UFC 136.

“I’ve got to finish, either a knockout or a submission,” Phan told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “I think in the last fight, I could have gone for some finishes in the standup or submissions. Maybe I kind of hesitated, maybe first-time UFC jitters, but this fight, I have to finish.”

Phan outpointed Garcia on many fans’ scorecards during that first bout in December 2010, but he didn’t put him away and the judges awarded Garcia a split decision.

“At first I didn’t think about it so much,” Phan said of the loss, “but then as I started training more for this camp, I’ve gotten more motivated. I’m very excited. It’s going to be a fun fight.”

It’s also going to be a very important fight. After the Garcia defeat, Phan dropped a unanimous decision to Mike Thomas Brown in August at UFC 133. Another loss would be Phan’s third straight in the Octagon.

“It’ll be 0-3 in the UFC, and the UFC doesn’t like that,” he said. “This is my last pitch. I’ve got to hit a homerun.”

The UFC could give Phan a break considering many believe he should have won the decision over Garcia, but Phan isn’t buying into that possibility.

“I’m going to assume that I’m going to get cut,” he said. “I don’t want to go in there with so much pressure that I think I’m going to get cut and stall. Sometimes guys feel like they’re going to get cut and they don’t want to lose and all they do is just takedown and stall. But for me, if I’m going to lose, if I’m going to get cut, I’m going to lose big. If I’m going to win, I’m going to win big. If this is going to be my last try, I’m going to go out with a bang.”

With that said, Phan doesn’t think he should be in this situation.

“I feel like I shouldn’t have my back against the fence like this,” he said. “I shouldn’t be 0-2. I should be at least 1-1. I should have a little bit of slack, but it is what it is. This is my last straw, and if I don’t hit it out of the ballpark, goodbye Nam Phan.”

Phan didn’t get the win in the first bout, but he did see some holes he hopes to capitalize on in the rematch. Of course, he thinks he capitalized on Garcia’s weaknesses last time too. Now he just wants the victory that comes with getting the better of an opponent.

“I think I beat him decisively last time,” Phan said, “but this time, if it goes to a decision, I’ve got to beat him down to a bloody pulp. I’ve got to make him almost like a zombie. I don’t know what else to do.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 24:57).

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