Ultimate Fighter 12 is underway! Teams have been chosen and we’ve already seen the show’s first elimination. Everyone in the free world saw those things on Spike TV. That’s where VigilanteMMA comes in. With a little help from our exclusive TUF insider, Nam Phan we will shed more light on the program on a weekly basis than you ever imagined. A character through and through, Nam is brutally honest and non-stop entertainment. In a side-splitting 30 minute phone call, S-Cla$$ and I were on the edge of our seats as Nam colorfully documented his thoughts on his coach Josh Koscheck, his dealings with teammates, and his true unabridged feelings about Jeff Lentz and “Bruce Leroy.” You might as well save this page onto your “favorites” list, because I am guaranteeing you’ll be back for more Nam Phan.
Vigilante: Nam, thanks again for joining us this week. Let’s get right down to it. Was the selection process as nerve-wracking as it looked on TV?
Nam Phan: I can’t tell you how nerve-wracking that was. It was like I was in the 6th grade all over again, afraid I was going to be picked last. Luckily, I wasn’t picked last, but I was picked 5th out of 7. I couldn’t believe it. I was just thinking “you guys must really think I suck” and “I hope I don’t cry on national TV.” (laughs) And what’s worse, you guys just saw 2 to 3 minutes of the selection process, but in reality, it was more like 30 to 45 minutes. It was not quick. So again, you can imagine my anxiety of getting picked near the end, just sitting there for that long.
Vigilante: After the teams were selected, how did that affect the house dynamic.
Nam Phan: After the teams got picked, the house divided in two. I mean, in the beginning, everyone is cool with everyone. Guys are saying “no matter what team we’re on, we’ll be tight, blah, blah, blah.” It was one big happy family. Then after we picked teams, it was like night and day.
Vigilante: During last week’s Q&A, you had mentioned you preferred to be on GSP’s team. Being a member of Team Koscheck, any change of heart?
Nam Phan: Definitely. You know, Koscheck comes off kind of intense, kind of like an egomaniac, but I gotta tell you, my perception completely changed. He’s not a jerk whatsoever; he’s just really understanding…he’s a cool guy. It was a reality check. I was like “wow, you can’t believe everything you see on TV.” Koscheck believes in hard work. And some of the guys on the team were lazy so he’d get on ‘em, and he’ll make fun of those guys, but if you work hard, he’s a super cool guy.
Vigilante: What did you think about the fight between “Bruce Leroy” and Jeff Lentz? Who were you cheering for?
Nam Phan: I was of course pulling for my teammate Lentz, and to be honest, it was pretty easy to do. “Bruce Leroy” is kind of annoying. Actually, he’s very annoying and very arrogant, so I wanted Lentz to just beat him up. But, as you know, it didn’t come out that way. Which was nuts since he’s a purple belt under Kurt Pellegrino and he got caught in a frickin’ triangle in round 2. Just crazy.
Vigilante: Glad you brought up “Bruce Leroy.” What did you make of his tales of killing alligators with his bare hands and wrestling deer?
Nam Phan: It was nuts. What you didn’t see was that his story changed every single time. One time it was “I killed an alligator with my bare hands.” Then it was “I killed an alligator with a stick.” The next minute it was “I killed an alligator with a knife.” It just kept changing. Then he said he wrestled a deer. Oh, and on top of that, he said he wrestled the deer in the morning, and then killed the alligator at night. And I’m just thinking, “What a douche-bag!” That’s just impossible. So I started asking him questions about it and he would get really angry and defensive. Just nuts. Here’s what really happened. He stepped on a twig.
Vigilante: That’s hilarious. Any behind the scenes stuff you want to share about Jeff Lentz?
Nam Phan: That dude was smoking! Just crazy. I mean, he wasn’t just smoking, he was chain smoking every single day. I thought that it was pretty gangster of him because he has to be pretty confident that he is going to beat everyone. Thinking he can even smoke a day before the fight and still win.
Vigilante: So do you want to address the Jeff Lentz comment about him not caring for you? What’s that all about?
Nam Phan: That’s the first I heard about it. If you want to know the truth though, the guy has temper tantrums. I don’t know what his problem is. He’s just a really angry person. And I say this because every morning I’d see him downstairs and I’d say, “Good morning brother Lentz. How are you doing?” And he’d say “F*ck you Nam Phan, go suck my d*ck, you mother f*cker. And I’m like “Ohhh-Kay.” And let me tell you, there’s not a better way to wake up in the morning and hearing “F*ck you Nam Phan, suck my d*ck.” It was just inspiring. All I have to say is Jeff Lentz has a future in motivational speaking! And it was just funny because the calmer I was after he’d say those things, he’d just get more and more angry. He’s just like a little girl you know? I relate him to an ex-girlfriend. When you argue with an ex-girlfriend, the calmer you are the angrier they get. He’s just a little girl.
Vigilante: Nice. Way to keep your cool. OK, any last things you want to share?
Nam Phan: Yeah, I want to talk about Koscheck again. I know the show is going to portray him as the “bad guy,” but he’s not at all. For example, growing up with a wrestling background, I remember coaches getting really mad when you’d lose. And you saw him after the Lentz loss, and I mean, he was just chill, just saying it was a bump in the road you know? I mean, when someone did something wrong, he’d never yell at them. He was always just a cool guy.
Vigilante: Awesome interview Nam. That’s some crazy “behind-the-scenes” stuff. Any reason why are readers should tune into next week’s episode?
Nam Phan: You’ll definitely want to be checking back next week. Let’s just say next week is when things start to get nuts.
More on Nam at VigilanteMMA: Meet TUF 12 Insider Nam Phan