Faced with the prospect of a one fight, 2012 campaign, Nam Phan had been keeping an eye out for another chance to compete, as the final weeks of the year continue to go by. While not every fighter would necessarily be willing to fight an established vet like Dennis Siver on short notice, Phan saw the opportunity and quickly jumped on it.
“I heard the news that Eddie Yagin got hurt and I was itching for a fight,” the 29 year-old Phan recently said on Full Contact Fighter Radio. “Right when I heard that I texted Sean Shelby and said “hey man, I want this fight,” and he said “you want this fight?” I said “heck yeah; does a mouse like cheese?”
After fighting three times in 2011, Phan has fought just once in 2012 to date. In August, the featherweight worked his way to a split decision win over fellow TUF vet Cole Miller.
“I was trying to get on the Macao card; that was really fun, but I didn’t get to be on it,” Phan relayed. “I was really sad and after that I was really discouraged and I didn’t think I was going to be able to get another fight for 2012. But everything came together. It’s too bad for Eddie Yagin, because I don’t want to see anything bad happen to anybody else, but it’s a good opportunity.”
The “opportunity”, of course, comes in the form of Dennis Siver (20-8), who recently moved to featherweight and scored a unanimous decision win over Diego Nunes in April. The move to 145 pounds, however, may have caught some by surprise. Although the German fighter announced his decision following a quick and onesided stoppage loss to Donald Cerrone last October, prior to the defeat, Siver had won four straight.
“I don’t think he’s any higher than myself,” said Phan, while discussing the upcoming UFC on FOX 5 bout. ”But I think I have what it takes to beat this guy. I’ll do my best.”
Of course, much of Siver’s success to date has come way of his accomplished striking game, which has helped the 33 year-old earn wins over vets like Matt Wiman and George Sotiropoulos.
“This is going to be a tough one because I took this fight on short notice,” Phan noted. “Usually for my camps I like to go to Team Alpha Male…but I couldn’t go this time because there wasn’t enough time, so I’ve been training at my Academy and my boxing gym. So, I’m going to try to do the best that I can with the short time that I have.”
“I’ll definitely be using my jiu-jitsu background as well,” the BJJ black belt furthered, when asked where he feels he has the advantages over Siver. “If I can get on top, if I can get it to the ground, I can submit him for sure.”
The bout, will of course, mark just the second time the 5’7 tall and stocky Siver will compete at 145 pounds.
“The guy looks like a Ninja Turtle,” Phan remarked. “All muscle and no neck. Have you seen him? He looks like Daniel Craig, James Bond, but he still has good gas at 145 even with all that weight cut.”
“I don’t want to jinx myself; I would like to think so,” Phan furthered, when asked if he’s hopeful that he can be the fresher fighter provided the bout goes three rounds. “I have more experience at featherweight…I’m definitely not as enormous as that guy. That guy is freaking big.”
The upcoming, December 8th, UFC on FOX 5 card will be hosted by Seattle’s Key Arena and will feature a lightweight title fight between champion Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz.