Tyson Nam had a hectic fight week for what was a do-or-die fight for his UFC career.
At UFC on ESPN 10, Nam was expected to fight Ryan Benoit. Yet, Benoit had to pull out and was replaced by longtime Glory kickboxer, Zarrukh Adashev.
“I was stressing out for a little bit. I found out on the flight over on Vegas. It was like damn let’s try and find video on this guy and maybe switch my entire game plan,” Nam said to BJPENN.com. “I didn’t know much about him. I did know he was a Glory guy but as soon as they told me he was a kickboxer I was like sweet I love fighting strikers. It all worked out in the end.”
For Nam, the fight went about as perfect as it could’ve. He barely got hit and got his first UFC win by highlight-reel knockout in just 32 seconds.
“Man it felt so good, just because after my last loss in the UFC I thought North Americans weren’t going to be able to see what I can do like I have done internationally,” Tyson Nam said. “It would’ve just killed me if I wasn’t able to do that in the UFC.”
Following the win, the hope for Tyson Nam is to turn around ASAP. He is back home in Hawaii and knows who he wants to fight next. Although Jordan Espinosa called him out, Nam wants to battle 10th-ranked Matt Schnell to get one back for Hawaii.
“Me against anyone is an interesting matchup but I was looking at the rankings and number 10 Matt Schnell makes sense. He doesn’t have anyone lined up so if he wants to dance, we can dance,” Tyson Nam explained why he wants Schnell. “He’s good all-around and he fought one of my teammates and friends in Louis Smolka, which went in Matt’s favor. So, I want to get that one back for Hawaii. Anytime I am able to stand in the pocket with someone, they hit hard but I always hit harder.”
Now that Tyson Nam has his first UFC win and saved his job, he has his confidence back and knows he can make a run to the top of the flyweight division.
“We have a shallow pool of sharks. I’ve probably had one of the biggest knockouts in the flyweight division. So, if I can get another I’m right up there to fight a top-five guy. If not now then probably never? 36 years young I like to say,” he concluded. “I actually feel better now than I did when I was 26. I’m a late bloomer and I age like fine wine and now is my time to make this run to the top.”
Would you be interested in seeing Tyson Nam vs. Matt Schnell?