The UFC’s first foray into the featherweight division ends in controversy. Nam Phan was robbed of a decision victory over Leonard Garcia Saturday night at “The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale,” further spotlighting the need to have knowledgeable judges scoring professional mixed martial arts fights.
“I was thinking, Asian brother can’t get some love, man,” a flabbergasted Phan expressed. “Not to take away from Leonard, I thought I won all [three] rounds.”
Phan wasn’t the only one that thought the fix was in after hearing the unfavorable (29-28, 27-30, 29-28) verdict.
“All I can say is, I scored some takedowns in this fight, but I felt like Nam beat me standing-up,” Garcia admitted of their shootout. “I’m saying it on national television [that I shouldn’t have won]. I’ll rematch Nam again and I’ll let you guys decide next time. I ran out of gas. I took this fight on one-and-a-half weeks notice.
“I’ll take all the boos, but I gotta say it, it was a great fight.”
Not only did the 145-pounders cry foul, but the entire crowd inside The Pearl at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada voiced their displeasure in the dubious decision. Joe Rogan told Phan during the post-fight Octagon interview he also thought the Vietnamese-American had swept the “Bad Boy.”
The UFC’s longtime color commentator didn’t stop there, as he proceeded to blast the Nevada State Athletic Commission, specifically executive director Keith Kizer, for allowing anyone and their mothers to dictate the futures and finances of fighters that just risked life and limb for 15 (sometimes 25) minutes.
Although Phan felt no love from two of the three judges sitting cage-side, he gained countless fans in the unfortunate incident. The 27-year-old’s stock certainly rose despite dropping his record to 16-8.