Courtesy of his DVR, it appears Leonard Garcia now believes he beat Nam Phan at “The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale” on Saturday night.
“I think I outscored him in the first and third rounds,” Garcia candidly admitted to MMAFighting. “I think that in the third round, I was dead tired, but I kept firing and kept pressing the action, and I was able to get a takedown as well.”
That’s a slightly different tune he was singing when 1,622 fans voiced their displeasure in the split decision verdict:
“All I can say is, I scored some takedowns in this fight, but I felt like Nam beat me standing-up,” Garcia said in his in-Octagon interview. “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.”
In regards to Garcia’s claims that he outpointed the Vietnamese-American, the UFC’s official number crunchers showed Phan connecting on three more shots in the opening stanza. He beat the “Bad Boy” by 16 strikes in the final five minutes.
Furthermore, Garcia ran out of fuel as the fight wound down while his adversary kept pressing the action.
“I was so mad at myself because of how fatigued I was,” Garcia admitted. “I went and sat down at the end of the second and I was cussing to myself.”
Fighters coming from Greg Jackson’s famed New Mexico academy are notorious for their conditioning prowess. However, Garcia credits his last-minute status for his inability to close out their hotly contested fight.
“When I take these short-notice fights, we have no time to work on technique, no time to work on anything I need to improve on,” shared Garcia. “All we have to time to do is get in there, do some conditioning stuff, and learn a couple little things about the opponent. And my opponent changed twice in three-and-a-half weeks.
“It wasn’t like I had a lot of time to key in on Nam Phan. Everything was up in the air.”
Actually, everyone inside The Pearl at The Palms was up in arms after hearing the OMG WTF verdict. Perhaps they’ll feel differently after watching the replay at home…