Many wondered if the Ricardo Almeida purple belt was ready for a step up in competition in only his second bout in the UFC. His first performance was a flawless submission victory over Alex Caceres, but he faced a true veteran in Nam Phan Saturday night.
Ultimately, it didn’t matter one bit to Hettes.
The young featherweight took Phan down at will and especially in the first round, put some nasty ground and pound together, while mixing in a slick jiu-jitsu performance.
Phan’s defense was really his only offense in the entire fight as he staved off armbars, rear naked chokes, head and arm triangles and a barrage of punches from Hettes.
Maybe what was most impressive about Hettes’ performance was his composure to fight on the main card of a UFC pay-per-view in only his second fight in the promotion, and he looked like a seasoned veteran.
In addition to his overwhelming performance, Hettes also looked like a cardio machine not slowing down between the start of the fight and the final seconds of the last moments in the third round.
Hettes may not get a ‘Submission of the Night’ bonus, but he definitely deserves recognition for going for more finishes than anybody thus far on the UFC 141 card.
A bright rising star in the featherweight division, Hettes is now 10-0 as a pro and moves forward in a tough 145lb weight class.