UFC 141 Fight Card Primer: Nam Phan vs. Jim Hettes

In the opening PPV bout of UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem, Nam Phan (17-9; 1-2 UFC) will face Jim Hettes (9-0; 1-0 UFC). This fight is in the Featherweight division. Neither man is currently ranked in the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings. The PPV card begins Friday night at the later start time of 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

This PPV opener is something of an odd choice to be on the main card. Phan has decent exposure to the UFC crowd thanks to his run on The Ultimate Fighter and his two fights with Leonard Garcia, but Hettes is in just his 2nd UFC fight here. With neither man ranked, there doesn't feel like a ton on the line. Still, it should be the kind of fast-paced affair the Featherweights typically deliver, and could start the PPV with some fun action.

How do these two stack up?

Phan: 28 years old | 5'6" | 69" reach
Hettes: 24 years old | 5'9"

What have these two done recently?

Phan: W - Leonard Garcia (UD) | L - Mike Brown (UD) | L - Leonard Garcia (SD)
Hettes: W - Alex Caceres (Sub) | W - Jacob Kirwan (Sub) | W - George Sheppard (Sub)

How did these two get here?

Nam Phan came into the Ultimate Fighter with more experience than you typically get out of a TUF contestant these days. With a 16-7 record at the time, and experience in Strikeforce and Japan, Phan was an early favorite on the show, but could not quite get the win. His proper UFC run got off to a bad start with a highly controversial loss to Leonard Garcia in his debut, followed by a loss to Mike Brown. His last fight was a rematch with Garcia where Phan showed off improved striking en route to an easy victory. He really needs a win to avoid dropping to 1-3.

Jimy Hettes is an undefeated prospect who some have high hopes for in the UFC - and arguably the UFC agrees with those views, hence the high placement on the card. After cutting his teeth in the regional scene, Hettes made his UFC debut earlier this year, defeating TUF veteran Alex Caceres via submission. This is the biggest fight of his young career by far - we'll see how the added pressure impacts him.

Why should you care?

This could be a big moment for Hettes and mark the arrival of a new name in the Featherweight division - a division that could certainly use some names. Let's see if he can capitalize and make it happen.

More UFC 141 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem

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