UFC 136 – In Depth: Nam Phan vs Leonard Garcia

Preview by: AJ Hoffman

Back when Strikeforce came to Houston last year, we introduced our in depth breakdown format. With UFC 136 approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to roll it out one again and give you an in depth breakdown of all the main card fights to give you an idea what to look for at the Toyota Center on Saturday night.

A rematch of arguably the most controversial decision in UFC history will have Nam Phan looking to avenge his loss to Leonard Garcia. Garcia made a good first impression on Houston fans, albeit in defeat, when he battled Roger Huerta at UFC 69.

Pictures courtesy of Sherdog.com and UFC.com

Nam Phan Name Leonard Garcia
Nickname Bad Boy
5’6″ Height  5’9″
145 Weight 145
16-9 Record 15-7-1
Garden Grove, CA Out Of Lubbock, TX
Mike Brown (L- U. Dec.)Leonard Garcia (L- S.Dec)Rodney Rhoden (W – Sub) Last Three Fights Chan Sung Jung (L-Sub)Nam Phan (W- S. Dec.)Mark Hominick (L- S.Dec.)

One of the bigger advantages either way goes to Garcia. He wings big punches and rarely sets them up. This isn’t to say that he has a better standup game than Phan, but his style makes him a headhunter.

 check_advantage SPEED:

Phan will be the faster fighter, especially as the fight wears on. Garcia doesn’t necessarily try to dart in and out like Phan does, as he is more willing to eat a few shots to land a big one.


A slight edge to Garcia here. He was able to put Phan down in their first matchup. Garcia’s wrestling isn’t great though, and he really only looks to shoot when he is on the ropes. Phan has little interest in bringing the match to the mat.



Garcia excels in the clinch, utilizing his knees to the body as well as dirty boxing. In their first matchup Phan pulled away from their first clinch encounter after eating a few knees and avoided it from that point on.

 check_advantage GROUND:

Garcia is a brown belt, and can hold his own on the ground, but Phan is a black belt and very legitimately skilled on the mat. His style is more of a controlling style than a submission style, and Garcia is tough to tap out.

check_advantage CARDIO:

This is a lopsided comparison. Garcia tends to gas in his fights that go longer than a round and a half, including his first fight with Phan. Phan has shown great cardio so far in the UFC.


Leonard Garcia via Decision



Bad calls or not, Phan has lost 4 of his last 5 and is in desperate need of a win. Garcia is also coming off a loss. I expect this fight to be close again, but I think Garcia may be healthier than he was last time out. I think he lands a couple of takedowns en route to a decision.