UFC 141 Predictions: Nam Phan vs. Jim Hettes

First LastCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2011

Featherweights Nam Phan and Jim Hettes will get the action started later tonight when they meet in the opening pay-per-view bout for UFC 141, which begins at 10 p.m. ET.

Hettes (9-0) is 1-0 in the Octagon, with all of his wins coming by submission—three of which came in under a minute. His lone UFC victory came over Alex Caceres.

Phan (17-9) comes into the bout having won a unanimous decision over Leonard Garcia in their fan-friendly rematch at UFC 136. It broke a two-fight losing streak for the Ultimate Fighter competitor.

If Hettes wants to earn his first win on a UFC main card, he will need to take the fight to the mat. He will find himself in trouble if he can't, and since most of his wins have come by submission, he's probably not as confident in his stand-up ability as Phan, who is great at utilizing body shots and isn't afraid to exchange with his opponents.

Hettes will be strong early, but with none of his bouts going the distance, Phan should have the advantage and take it there while avoiding the takedowns and just out-working his opponent on the feet.

If Phan finds himself on the mat, he should be able to survive long enough to get back up and avoid any submissions. This will wear down Hettes more than it will Phan, and the 28-year-old should win a comfortable and fan-friendly decision victory.

Prediction: Nam Phan defeats Jim Hettes by Unanimous Decision.

The main event of UFC 141 will feature the return of former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who will be taking on Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.

Other main card bouts include Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks, Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz and Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Alexander Gustafsson.