Following a disappointing run in the UFC that ended in March, bantamweight veteran Nam Phan has won back to back fights is looking strong as he heads into his upcoming Bellator debut.
Said Nam of his wins in July over Kenichi Ito and in October over Yuki Baba, “I think I can always do better, but I think they were been pretty decent, because they’re both first round finishes.
“After the UFC, I’ve just tried to stay sharp, get my mind back together, get some wins and get back to a big show.”
With over 30 fights and 13 years on his MMA resume, Phan still enjoys the sport and never once questions his motivations for continuing to fight.
“I really enjoy MMA and I’m very lucky I get to make a living doing what I love,” Phan told MMAWeekly.com. “I want to stay healthy the rest of my life and keep doing what I love until I’m too old to do it.
“I just really love doing martial arts, competing and doing what I do. I have a family and raise them, and that’s motivating as well, and I still enjoy learning.”
Phan (20-13) will make his debut in Bellator on Saturday when he takes on Mike Richman (17-5) in a bantamweight feature bout in San Diego.
“It’s a tough match-up because Mike’s a tough guy, but I think I have a good chance to beat him,” said Phan. “My strategy is to just go out there and bang. I want to have a good time and put on a show.
“I believe in what I can do in my heart and believe I can win. The most important thing is that I believe in myself.”
The bout on Nov. 15 will be only Richman’s second at 135-pounds, and while Phan isn’t counting on the weight cut to be an advantage for him, he’ll take anything that goes in his favor that night.
“If Mike’s not used to it, that’s great, anything I can get to win this fight,” said Phan jokingly.
“Mike’s a marine and has been through a lot and has probably been through worse in his life (than dropping down in weight), so I really don’t think it will be a problem for him.”
Regardless whether or not Phan is familiar with new Bellator management from his Strikeforce days, he feels he always has to go out and perform well and win, should he work his way towards getting a title.
“Whether it’s a new company or an old company, I always want to put on a good show. I want to win or lose in impressive fashion. I do want to win though of course,” said Phan.
“Titles are the ultimate goal and that would be great, but one step at a time. I need to win this fight against Richman first.”