Fight Nights Global 75’s Tyson Nam: “Hey, Don’t Count Me Out!”
When Tyson Nam‘s hand was raised at Fight Nights Global 64, it was a humongous upset. His opponent, Ali Bagautinov, one of the best flyweights in the world, had shockingly left the UFC and signed with the Russian promotion. Nam vs. Bagautinov was supposed to be a run-of-the-mill “squash match”– the phrase being “supposed to be”.
After being beat up a bit in the first few rounds, Nam threw a a vicious right high kick from hell, that floored the former UFC title challenger, causing the referee to call off the bout at exactly 4:59 of the third round.
A lot of people would probably call Nam’s finish a fluke. I mean him being such a big underdog and all, how could it not be? Right? Wrong.
Nam has been in that exact position before. He’s heard the haters and doubters before. He’s already had people call his abilities flukey before. What made Nam well-known to MMA fans WAS “a fluke”. Nam burst onto the mainstream MMA scene back in 2012, defeating the prodigal future Bellator Bantamweight Champion Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas in his own backyard of Brazil. Is a fluke really a fluke it it continues to repeat itself? Maybe the fluke wasn’t a fluke in the first place. Nam is starting to prove that the only fluke was in the doubt that accompanied him entering his fights.
That’s why when all was said and done, and Ali Bagautinov was being helped off the canvas, Tyson Nam wasn’t the least bit surprised. “It’s the second time that I’ve proven everybody wrong…that I’m one of the best flyweights in the world,” says Nam. “I did it first in Brazil and then I did it again in Russia. To everybody that always puts me on the backend: ‘Hey don’t count me out.'”
“I knew that I’d make my way back, I just had to get my head in the right place. Since I’ve gotten my head in the right place, I’ve been knocking people out left and right.”
Nam, riding four fight streak of no losses, has been rejuvenated since dropping to the flyweight division. Prior to the drop in weight, Nam had lost four fights in a row, but the mentally strong Hawaiian never got discouraged. “I felt that I always was right there to get back,” explains Nam. “During those streaks of losses that I did have, I was in a time in my life where I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. My whole heart wasn’t invested, so I came home with a few losses in a row, but it wasn’t like I took a very bad beating in any of them. I knew that I’d make my way back, I just had to get my head in the right place. Since I’ve gotten my head in the right place, I’ve been knocking people out left and right.”
“There aren’t a whole lot of guys that are 5’7″ in the flyweight division. I think I push people around here and this is the place I should be for the rest of my career.”
Nam feels that dropping that extra ten pounds to get down to 125lbs has been one of the best decisions of his career, and his record since then would certainly indicate that. “At 135lbs, everybody just kept getting bigger and bigger, so I figured: hey, why not be the big guy from here on out? I’m useful at 125. There aren’t a whole lot of guys that are 5’7″ in the flyweight division. I think I push people around here and this is the place I should be for the rest of my career.”
This Saturday, Nam (15-8-1) returns to the cage at Fight Nights Global 75: Christyakov vs. Deak, as he takes on 25-year-old Russian prospect Rizvan Abuev (9-1). Abuev is not only riding a nine-fight win streak, but has finished all nine of those fights, with eight knockouts in that stretch. Eight years the elder, Nam knows that this “kid” is no joke. “I watched a couple of his videos. He looks fast. He’s young. He’s knocking out everybody they put in front of him, but none of them is Tyson Nam” says Nam of his Russian foe. “He hasn’t faced someone as good of a caliber as myself, so I think he’ll be in for it come October 6th.”
When Nam closes his eyes and envisions fight playing out, he is pretty certain that the bout will end in a specific fashion. “KNOCK. OUT,” says Nam emphatically.
Following the bout against Abuev, Nam is still under contract for two more fights for the Fight Nights Global promotion– which should be noted is a promotion that he speaks extremely highly of. As for where he goes after these two fights, the MMA world will have to just wait and see how things play out, but with that being said, Nam has a goal embedded in the back of his mind. “It’s been a good experience with [Fight Nights Global] so far, but always in the back of everyone here in America’s mind is the UFC,” explains Nam. “That’s the superbowl of MMA and everyone wants to do that before the end of their career. Right now though, I’m having a lot of fun in Russia!”
To learn more about Tyson Nam, follow him on social media at: