LAS VEGAS - The UFC must have a lot of faith in Jimy Hettes because it rolled the dice by putting the 24-year-old on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 141.
Hettes made the bosses look smart by putting on a three-round exhibition of grappling, takedowns, submissions, and ground and pound on his way to an easy win over Nam Phan, 30-25, 30-25 and 30-26 in the PPV opener at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The promotion is looking for future contenders to face featherweight champion Jose Aldo Jr. No one is saying Hettes is anywhere near ready for that type of fight, but he's certainly worthy of following as one of the brighter prospects in the division.
Hettes, 24, only had one UFC fight under his belt and he was taking on a grizzled veteran of the sport in Phan. He came out strong with takedowns just 16 and 35 seconds into the fight.
From there, Hettes used trip takedowns and Judo throws to dump Phan (17-10, 1-2 UFC) on his head whenever he wanted.
"I'm very happy right now. Whether it was 10-8 or 10-9 or if he was winning, he's such a tough competitor, so every second I had to be going forward. Just making sure I didn't let him get on the offensive," said Hettes.
On the ground, Hettes (11-0, 2-0 UFC) shifted between working for submissions and pounding away at Phan's head with super accurate punches.
"I was working on keeping him down on the ground. Everyone knows I'm a submission specialist, so it just added a whole other aspect to my game," said Hettes.
Phan has been very competitive in four fights under the Zuffa banner. The severity of tonight's loss was shocking. Phan entered the bout as a minus-225 favorite.
According to FightMetric, Hettes landed 225 shots to just 25 for Phan. He took him down 10 times and passed his guard nine times.