First off, this fight won't be like the last fight. A lot of people don't remember, but Leonard Garcia took the previous clash at The Ultimate Fighter Finale 12 on short notice, as a replacement for Alex Caceres.
He didn't have a training camp, so most of his eight days leading up to the fight were spent trying to get from 172 pounds down to 145 pounds.
In light of this, Nam Phan should come into the fight knowing that this isn't the same guy that he lost to in an extremely controversial decision. Garcia will have better conditioning, and, undoubtedly, his striking will be sharper.
Garcia knows that Phan is looking to take him down to neutralize his powerful striking and will look to get out of the wild exchanges that Garcia loves. Phan will need to disguise his takedowns and set them up with technical striking.
Since he will be looking for takedowns, Phan should look to apply some ground and pound, but not tire himself out too much. Garcia can definitely take a punch—as evidenced in all of his fights, including the fight-of-the-night classic against Chan Sung Jung at WEC 48.
Garcia has never been knocked out in 23 professional fights, and Phan should think that he has the knockout power to be the first to do it.
Phan should instead utilize his takedowns, transition on the ground and do damage in close quarters.
With this in mind, Nam Phan should be able to avenge his loss against the "Bad Boy" Leonard Garcia at UFC 136.
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