UFC 136 Fight Card: What Leonard Garcia Must Do to Beat Nam Phan

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2011

Courtesy of MMAJUnkie.com
Courtesy of MMAJUnkie.com

After being rewarded one of the most controversial decisions in UFC history, Leonard Garcia will face Nam Phan in an anticipated rematch at UFC 136

Their first bout was loaded with offense from Phan, who was the aggressor from the opening bell. He pressed forward, picking his shots and outworking his opponent. Garcia had his moments in the fight, but he was overwhelmed by the quicker, smaller fighter in Phan, which shockingly led him to earning the decision. 

In the rematch, Garcia must dictate the pace and become aggressive early to prevent any offense from Phan. Garcia is known for his tendency to keep his bouts on the feet and turn them into a slugfest, and if he is able to keep applying pressure and landing his shots, he will eventually begin to wear down his opponent.

Plus, he is the bigger, taller fighter, and he shouldn't stay inside the pocket where Phan can utilize head movement and pick his shots, so he should maintain some distance. 

Garcia also was wisely able to defend well on the ground during their first encounter, as he rolled off of Pha's left arm to prevent getting submitted, which he should utilize more often in their rematch. To prevent Phan success on the feet, he should look to bring him to the canvas at any chance he gets and control him.

Garcia holds considerable Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills and should utilize more offense on the ground, as well as use his size to smother and overwhelm Phan. 

Garcia shows tremendous heart in all of his bouts, and he will not likely show any sign of weakness in his second bout with Phan. If he is able to stick and move, while maintaining the proper amount of pressure and distance, Garcia will find openings to place his shots more often and pick Phan apart.

Phan is good at getting inside his opponents' range and pressing forward, while landing precise strikes, but Garcia needs to be quicker and beat him to the punch first.