Nam Phan was a clear winner at UFC 136. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Nam Phan evened the score with Leonard Garcia at UFC 136, but he’s not particularly interested in a rubber match.
“I don’t think there needs to be a third fight,” Phan told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I feel that I beat him twice already.”
Officially, Garcia won their first encounter in December 2010 via split decision, but many feel Phan deserved the nod. Phan avenged that defeat Oct. 8 with an entertaining unanimous decision.
“My back was definitely against the fence,” said Phan, who entered the fight having lost two straight in the UFC. “I really wanted to win this fight. I figured if I was going to go out, I wasn’t going to stall. If I was going to lose, I was going to lose big. If I was going to win, I was going to win big.”
Garcia seems to have had a similar philosophy but a different approach. He threw haymaker after haymaker while Phan punched in combinations and worked the body. Phan’s strategy proved superior, and he thinks Garcia would do well in the future if he maintained his cool rather than winging wild punches.
“I think the way Leonard fights is also the trainer’s fault too,” Phan said. “The trainer is supposed to train him to fight a certain way. If Leonard’s letting his emotions get the better of him, then he’s not getting trained that well. You can’t blame all of it on Leonard. The trainer has to take some fault for it too, but definitely if Leonard could keep his emotions together, he can do a lot better.”
Garcia did have some success in the fight, though. Phan outpointed him in the first and second round, but he had a scary moment in the third when Garcia dropped him with a left hook.
“Leonard caught me good and I was thinking, ‘No, it can’t end like this. Please no,’” Phan said. “When I was in there and he was flurrying on me, I think he punched himself out. He stopped. I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to get you now.’”
Phan recovered, got through the round, and this time the decision was his. He also won a $75,000 bonus for “Fight of the Night” and believes he could win another one if he fought Garcia again. For that reason, and not because he thinks they have anything to settle, he would take one more fight against Garcia if the UFC offered it.
“If the UFC wants to make it happen,” Phan said, “I don’t mind trying to get another ‘Fight of the Night.’”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:09:44).