August 4, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Nam Phan celebrates after defeating Cole Miller during the featherweight match at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Saturday night's UFC On FOX 4 card was a solid affair with spectacular finishes and hard fought battles. After the last few cards, it was a welcome change, a breath of fresh air, if you will. One of the battles that was an obvious contender for fight of the night, even though it didn't receive the honors, was the one between Nam Phan and Cole Miller. I was a little put off by the split decision, as I thought Phan had one across the board, 29-28, but a win is a win. In a recent, exclusive Bloody Elbow interview, Nam discussed his win, and what he hopes will be next for him in the UFC.
Stephie Daniels: Once again, you've been involved in another questionable decision. How does that make you feel?
Nam Phan: It's pretty frustrating. It's definitely taken some years off my life [laughs].
Stephie Daniels: Did Cole's height or style pose any problems at all for you?
Nam Phan: Having that much of a reach advantage could pose a problem for anyone, but I trained with some really high level boxers that were much more qualified than Cole at boxing. I knew he couldn't put a worse beating on me than those guys did in training camp. I knew I was going to be ready for anything he threw at me.
Stephie Daniels: Were you surprised that he didn't really aggressively pursue getting the fight to the ground?
Nam Phan: I think that his only choice would have been to get it to the ground, because his best weapon is his jiu jitsu, but if it had gone down, I would have been fine there, as well. He tried one shot, but I stuffed it. He wanted to keep it standing. The thing about jiu jitsu is it only works on the ground [laughs]. He's a tough guy with a lot of heart. I give him a lot of credit for that, because he just didn't want to go down, no matter what I threw at him.
Stephie Daniels: Did you take any damage at all in the fight?
Nam Phan: Nothing too bad. I got a few bumps and bruises on my head and face, but nothing broken or anything. My body is sore, but I'm ok.
Stephie Daniels: Considering the discontent everyone seemed to have with the last card, did Dana give you guys a pep talk before this event?
Nam Phan: Yeah he did. He said, 'Hey guys, you need to step it up.' That's what we did, because at the end of the night, we all want our jobs [laughs].
Stephie Daniels: Were you happy with your performance?
Nam Phan: Yeah. I thought I did good. I would have been happier if I had gotten a finish [laughs].
Stephie Daniels: What's next for you? Would you like to take some time off or get back in there right away?
Nam Phan: I'd really like to get on that Macau card. That'd be fun.
Stephie Daniels: How many fights do you think before you're Top 10?
Nam Phan: The goal is to get to the title and make that big dollar. Realistically, I just have to take it one step at a time. I'm sure I'd need to string together another two or three more wins in a row. Something like that.
Stephie Daniels: What are some names that would appeal to you for your next fight?
Nam Phan: I think me vs. Korean Zombie would be a fun fight. There's a bunch of fun fights for me in the division.
Stephie Daniels: If the circumstances were right, let's say it was for a number one contender's spot, would you take a fight at 135?
Nam Phan: No, no, no. At 145, I'm almost freaking dying. There's no way I could cut 10 more pounds. Forget it. There's no point in killing myself for that.
Stephie Daniels: What is your walking around weight?
Nam Phan: I used to walk around at 165, but now I'm going a little leaner, so I keep it around 160.
Stephie Daniels: The UFC has had a very successful card in Japan earlier this year, they've got the Macau card lined up, and I've even heard of a rumored card in the Phillipines. Are you excited about the UFC's expansion into the Asian market?
Nam Phan: I think it's fantastic. If I could get on every Asian card, it would be nuts. I could be an Asian hero [laughs]. I'd have to win them all, but I could see myself as "Nam Phan: Asian Hero", [laughs].
Stephie Daniels: Many movie studios are using MMA fighters in tough guy roles. Have you been approached for any roles, and if not, is it something you'd be interested in?
Nam Phan: I have been approached, but if I do any movies, I don't want the classic tough guy role. I want to do something funny, like a nerdy high school kid. Nothing too serious. Even a romantic comedy would work for me, because there'd be hot chicks involved [laughs]. I definitely won't be doing anything that involves any freaking vampires or werewolves. Have you seen The Green Hornet? They called me to play Cato. I tried out for that movie. The producer called me and said, 'Hey, you've got a cool look. We want you to come and try out for this part.'
You can follow Nam via his Twitter, @NamPhanMMA