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UFC 136 Fight Card: Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Matt JuulContributor IIIOctober 5, 2011

UFC 136 Fight Card: Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    Moving up to the main card for this weekend's UFC 136, the highly anticipated rematch between featherweights Nam Phan and Leonard Garcia is sure to be an exciting bout.

    These two long time veterans first faced off at the Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale, ending in a highly controversial split decision win for Garcia.

    Many onlookers, including UFC President Dana White, had Phan winning the fight decisively. White even awarded Phan a win bonus on top of both fighters receiving Fight of the Night honors.

    Now ready to settle the score, Phan will look to avenge this loss against Garcia on Saturday night in Houston, Texas.

    Here is the head-to-toe breakdown for this exciting 145-lb. battle.

Striking

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    In terms of striking, Phan and Garcia have very different styles.

    A professional boxer and karate black belt, Phan has very technical, yet powerful strikes. Owning seven career knockout wins, Phan has heavy hands that can lay his opponents out.

    Garcia is a wild striker, throwing caution to the wind every time he sets foot into the cage. His Fight of the Year performance against Chan Sung Jung is one of his most famous battles where his brawling style was on display.

    The brawling style of Garcia was easily picked apart by Phan in their first meeting.

    Because of Phan's crisper and more powerful strikes, Phan has to have the edge here.

    Advantage: Phan

Grappling

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    Both Nam Phan and Leonard Garcia are well versed in the grappling arts, having a solid base in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

    Garcia is a brown belt in the art and trains with the famed Greg Jackson, whose ground training is one of the best in the world. 

    Phan, however, is a black belt in the Jiu-Jitsu and teaches the art at his Ma Du Academy in California. Phan has a slightly better ground game and an attacking guard that gives him a slight edge in this category.

    Advantage: Phan

Submissions

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    Although Phan may have a better overall grappling game, Garcia has the edge in submissions.

    Out of his 15 total victories, Garcia has submitted nine of his opponents, with his first five wins coming via submission.

    Phan has five submission wins on his record and has a solid submission game. On the Ultimate Fighter, Phan almost submitted Spencer Paige with a kimura. 

    Garcia, because more than half his wins have come via submission, takes this category.

    Advantage: Garcia

Strength

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    Looking at these fighters' physiques, Phan is the slightly larger combatant.

    Both Phan and Garcia have both competed at lightweight earlier in their career. Phan even competed on the Ultimate Fighter at 155 lbs.

    In their last fight, Phan pushed the action and seemed to be pushing Garcia around.

    Because of this, Phan has a slight edge strength wise.

    Advantage: Phan

Cardio

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    Garcia puts everything he's got into every punch and kick he throws.

    In his fight against Chan Sung Jung, Garcia kept the pace for all three rounds in one of the most exciting fights in MMA history.

    Phan has shown solid cardio as well, never really gassing in any of his recent fights.

    These guys are pretty much even in this department.

    Advantage: Even

Experience

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    Garcia has been in the fight game for a long time, starting his professional career in 1999.

    Having faced some of the best featherweights in the world, from Mike Brown to Mark Hominick, Garcia is a grizzled veteran that does not get scared easily.

    Phan has been a part of MMA for a while as well, starting his career in 2001. Phan actually has two more fights on his record as well as professional boxing experience.

    Again, these two fighters are pretty much even in experience.

    Advantage: Even

Variables

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    Both guys look to be healthy entering this bout and should have no outside factors hindering their performances.

    Phan is on a two-fight losing streak, most recently losing a decision to former WEC champion Mike Brown while Garcia is coming off a submission loss to Chan Sung Jung in their rematch.

    The biggest variable in this fight will be the judging and whether or not they will look at technique overly aggressive brawling.

Prediction

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    In this highly anticipated rematch, Phan has to be the clear favorite going in.

    Phan is the better tactician and dominated Garcia in their first match, despite taking the controversial split decision loss.

    In MMA, however, anything can happen, so a wild knockout or submission by Garcia is a possibility.

    But coming off a loss to Mike Brown as well as the devastating decision defeat against Garcia, Phan should be highly motivated to win this fight.

    Advantage: Phan via submission (Third Round).

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