UFC 141 results recap: Jimmy Hettes vs Nam Phan fight review and analysis

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 30: Jimy Hettes (black shorts) slams Nam Phan during the UFC 141 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Both Nam Phan and Jimmy Hettes were hoping to build off recent momentum of their first UFC victories last night (December 30, 2011) in the opening bout of the UFC 141: "Lesnar vs. Overeem" main card.

Phan, with his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, was expected to give Hettes his toughest fight yet if and when the bout went to the canvas, but he was no match for the persistent Pennsylvanian grappler.

Hettes, who had submitted all nine of his previous professional as well as all four of his amateur opponents, would be taken to a decision for the first time, but that didn't make his victory any less dominant.

So how did the undefeated grappler pull it off against by far his most experienced competition? And what's next for both men?

Hettes came out firing on all cylinders and he quickly exposed one of Phan's biggest deficiencies, his takedown defense.

Once he had Phan on his back, it appeared as if Phan was expecting submission attempts but "The Kid" had a surprise in store for him, instead choosing to unleash a torrid assault of ground and pound from Phan's guard, which repeatedly connected and bloodies Phan up badly.

Only once he'd opened Phan's face up did he begin working for submissions, dominating the first round badly with a clear 10-8 if not worse.

The second and third rounds were more of the same, although not quite as violent, as Hettes repeatedly put Phan on his back working occasional ground and pound and looking to advance position or try to tap the veteran Brazilian jiu-jitsu player.

In the end, Hettes easily took a unanimous decision, destroying Phan with scores of 30-25, 30-25 and 30-26 on the scorecards.

For Nam Phan, this was by far his worst performance in the UFC. At least in his two prior losses, he'd been competitive but he had absolutely nothing for Hettes here. Phan's takedown defense was garbage here, as he simply couldn't stay on his feet where he had the biggest advantage. Also, once on his back, he did not do a good job of playing defense and he absorbed way too much punishment. His inability to get back to his feet only compounded his problems.

Next for Phan? Perhaps they could match up him with some cast members of the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter season 14. Opponents like Dennis Bermudez, Jason Young or Tyson Griffin would make sense.

For Jim Hettes, he almost fought the perfect fight. Despite being a purple belt, he proved his relentless takedown skills and aggressive ground tactics can overwhelm even a more experienced ground fighter. The improvement in his ground and pound was spectacular and it's just another facet of his game which makes him even more lethal once the fight goes to the canvas. Now the only question remaining is how he'll be able to respond if he faces someone who can stuff his takedowns and force him to stand.

I'd like to see Hettes step into the Octagon with someone like Ricardo Lamas, Ross Pearson or Darren Elkins next as he continues to develop his skills.

So what did you think, Maniacs?

Were you impressed with Jimmy Hettes' performance? Who would you like to see him step into the cage against next?

Sound off!

For complete UFC 141: "Lesnar vs. Overeem" results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.

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