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TUF 12 Finale Live Blog: Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia Updates

LAS VEGAS – This is "The Ultimate Fighter" Finale live blog for Nam Phan vs. Leonard Garcia, part of the Spike-televised main card of tonight's event at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.

Phan (16-7, 0-0 UFC) was a Season 12 member of the TUF house, fighting at lightweight. He lost in the semifinals to Michael Johnson in a close split decision. For this fight, he drops back to featherweight for his official UFC debut. Garcia (14-6-1, 1-2 UFC, 5-3-1 WEC) returns to the UFC for the first time since the TUF 5 Finale. After a loss to Cole Miller, he moved to the WEC as a featherweight and now returns following the merger of the two promotions. Four of his last five fights have ended in split decisions, including his last bout, a loss to Mark Hominick at WEC 51.

The live blog is below.

Round 1: They touch gloves, and we're under way in the first televised featherweight bout in UFC history. Wild haymakers from Phan, and Garcia ties things up on the fence. We could see a lot of that, which seems to play right into Garcia's wheelhouse. Garcia lands a right, then a left. Another right from Garcia. Then a kick. WIld left from Garcia, and Phan answers with a kick. Garcia responds with one of his own. Big shots from Phan. And Garcia covers quickly, and tries to answer. We've seen Garcia take those kinds of shots and answer with his own in many fights now. Flying knee from Garcia isn't crisp enough. Then a spinning backfist that Phan blocks. Phan comes inside and throws a shot to the body. A "Nam Phan!" chant from one fan doesn't catch on. Garcia brings an uppercut, and Phan continues to work jabs. Phan's corner begging him to counter. Nice left from Garcia, folowed by a leg kick. Phan being conservative, then he lands a few shots. But Garcia answers with his own. A nice kick from Phan lands clean on Garcia's head, but he shakes it off and tells Phan "No thanks." A left from Phan staggers Garcia briefly as the round closes. It's a close first round. Phan seemed to land the cleaner strikes when he landed them, and he'll get a very close 10-9 first round on the MMA Fighting card.

Round 2: The two fighters smile at each other and touch gloves for the second. Garcia thorws an immediate body kick and works lefts. Then a 1-2 combo, then a knee. Then a right roundhouse. Phan seems to be remaining calm and looking to pick his shots. Nice leg kick from Garcia. But a left from Phan staggers Garcia briefly. Overhand right from Garcia misses wildly. Phan goes inside for an uppercut that just misses. And out of nowhere, Garcia shoots and lands a takedown. He ties Phan up against the fence momentarily before they move back to the feet. Garcia landing significantly more strikes than Phan so far this round. But Phan isn't afraid to get inside and land some. And when he does, he wobbles Garcia. He moves in and throws a kick to the body that drops Garcia. He pounces on him and works ground and pound as Herb Dean watches over. But Dean didn't look like he was close to stopping things. From the top, Phan works for Garcia's back and gets it, looking for a choke. Phan's corner yells for him to take his time. Garcia's trying to fend off the rear naked attempt and trying to keep Phan's body triangle from getting too tightly locked. Garcia tries to roll out, and he does enough to sneak out and he will survive the round. But this one turned in a hurry, and MMA Fighting gives the second to Phan 10-9.

Round 3: They touch 'em up for the last. Garcia is swinging, as per usual, with fairly wild abandon. Kicks and jabs, and then a shot to get Phan down. Phan walks back up, but he's cut above his right eye. Phan lands a couple shots in close, but Garcia responds with his usual big bomb attempts. Garcia looks winded, which is essentially how he looks in the third round of most of his fights. He tries a lazy shot, but they get up quickly. Phan not looking too tired. Garcia tries t a big spinning back kick that misses, and he slumps into the fence for a 1-second breather. Garcia tries a knee, then a body kick, then uppercuts in tight. He's still coming forward, and he lands a few shots. Phan answers back and Garcia yells out in some kind of crazed appreciation. They tie up, and Phan pulls out of it. Garcia appears to be talking to Phan as they throw. Another spinning kick misses. With 30 seconds left, this has been entertaining for sure. Garcia has had four of his last five fights end in split decisions, and this could be the same. MMA Fighting gives the last round to Phan 10-9 as the crowd cheers loudly for the performances. MMA Fighting sees it 30-27 for Phan. The crowd goes crazy with boos and a non-family friendly chant when Garcia is announced as the split decision winner. Phan circles the cage with his arms raised and the crowd cheers. Joe Rogan tells Phan he thought Phan won all three rounds. "I don't know what they were looking at. Not to take anything away from Leonard, but I thought I beat him all three rounds," Phan says.
Result: Leonard Garcia def. Nam Phan via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
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