Jim Hettes is still an undefeated and untested prospect in the UFC featherweight division, but he's gained a bit of popularity among some spectators of the sport due to the way he's brought himself to this point so far.
After all, winning every fight in an eight-fight professional career by way of submission is a pretty good way to enter the UFC. And a win over Alex Caceres, during which he submitted the TUF-12 alumnus in the second round after giving him a difficult time in the first round, is a step in the right direction.
That's all pretty cool, but now Hettes has to stand across the octagon from Nam Phan.
Of course, Phan was one of the more experienced fighters from that same 12th season of "The Ultimate Fighter." He is a skilled-enough fighter to give Hettes trouble, but that should not really surprise anyone. So now, that question remains as to what Hettes should do.
Seriously, what should he do?
Well, we're past admitting to making mistakes and telling people that he's done this before. And to be honest, Hettes really hasn't ever been tested the way Phan will test him. But if there was a serious way for Hettes to get past Phan, it'd be in the way of his striking.
It's not at the level where Hettes can realistically earn a knockout win, but if he uses some good body movement to avoid Phan's hardest shots, and if he times a few strikes of his own, he might be able to setup his takedowns properly.
Key for Hettes, though, is to not try and bum-rush Phan or get too cozy standing up with Phan, who might be the better striker.
If the kid can hurt or at least tire Phan out long enough to get it to the ground, and if he can neutralize Phan's own Jiu-Jitsu from the top, he might be able to show Phan and the world what he's made of.