Veteran and TUF 12 alumni Nam Phan recently took some time out of his schedule to talk with BJPENN.COM about his thoughts on Pettis vs. Aldo, training with Team Alpha Male, and more. Perhaps best known for his two hard-fought battles with Leonard Garcia, Phan has had his ups his downs after his time on The Ultimate Fighter, going 2-4 in his last six bouts (Although the vast majority argue he won the first Garcia fight). Regardless, Nam Phan has never failed to provide fans with exciting fights that showcase his technical standup and top-notch ground game.
A humbled Nam Phan talks about to his last bout against Dennis Siver at UFC on Fox 5- one which he took on only three weeks notice.
“Dennis Siver is good, he’s tough man- he’s a great fighter. You know, it was very short notice, I only fought one fight that year and I wanted to fight badly. I didn’t want to end the year with just one fight. Reflecting on his lack of preparation- “I think that what went wrong was that I didn’t have a full training camp. You know I usually go to Alpha-Male, then come back home and do work back home- I feel sharp and I think it would of gone a lot better. I don’t know if I would have beat him, or maybe lose, I don’t know but I think it would of been better.” Siver is one of the larger featherweights, but was able to maintain a ferocious pace well into the final moments of the fight- when asked if Siver’s conditioning surprised him Phan responded- “It did! In his past fights he didn’t look THAT conditioned. Like he was really conditioned for this fight.”
On his time spent at Team Alpha Male and whether or not it has changed his game:
“I think so. I learn so much every time I go there. Urijah shows me a lot of great stuff. There’s guys that people don’t know that are at a super high level who are just about to go to the UFC right now, so those guys show me a lot of stuff- its great training over there.”
On whether or not he intents to make Alpha Male his main training camp for future fights:
“For sure, for sure. Those guys are my brothers, I love those guys. Thats the place to go, I think, for 155lbs and down. You know, everyone else is too big. Before Team Alpha Male I shopped around, I went here, I went there- and they have a couple small guys here and there…but at a lot of other places the guys are just too big- you can’t train with them. But at Alpha Male, everyones your size so its perfect.”
On nutritional changes:
“Urijah man, he knows his stuff. The guys are a gang of steel- with Chad (Mendes), Danny (Castillo), Joseph (Benavidez). And I thought I was pretty educated on nutrition but they really know their stuff. They’ve really got it down to a science- Eat this for this, eat that for that, eat this when you cut weight, eat this when you feel bad- WOAH holy crap you guys just sat with me and like ten other guys to talk nutrition- it just blew my mind!”
On fighters dropping down from lightweight and getting immediate title shots:
“Yeah, it sucks for me, because these guys are freaking good! So I’ve got to work hard to get to the title shot. But you know, it’s fun. I’m very happy- the weight division is stacked and it just legitimizes our (weight) class you know? About Anthony Pettis- I think he deserves it, he’s the man! You know if Gilbert Melendez wasn’t going to fight Ben Henderson next I think it would of been Anthony Pettis. I guess Anthony Pettis didn’t want to wait in line so he got the shot to fight Aldo. I’m excited for that fight.”
With Phan’s 30th birthday just around the corner, he reflects on his future and what he wants to accomplish before hanging up the gloves:
“I have no idea who I want to fight next, I just want to improve and see what went wrong in the last fight. Just try and make things better, when the UFC calls I need to be on my toes. I plan on retiring in maybe five years- earlier or later, it depends on what happens with my body, you know? Whatever happens next I’m just gonna go with the flow. I want to make my UFC run the best run I can make it, see what I can do, go on a winning steak, you know?
It seems like Nam Phan is taking all the right steps to improve his game and start working his way to contender status. 2013 will be an important year for the California-based fighter as he hopes to rebound from the Dennis Siver loss and string together some impressive victories. A feat easier said than done, but if things go in favor of Nam Phan, we might just hear his name come up when discussing contenders at 145 pounds.Tags: Exclusive, Interview, mma, MMA NEWS, Nam Phan, team alpha male, UCF, ufc, ufc news