Flyweight Tyson Nam returns to the octagon this weekend at UFC San Diego, nearly a year and a half on from his last fight.
After seeing a pair of bouts against Tagir Ulanbekov fall through in 2021 and early 2022, Nam (20-12-1) has been paired up with Ode Osbourne.
Arriving in the UFC in 2019, Nam is 2-3 to date, after a lengthy career on the regional circuit. His last fight was a close split decision against Matt Schnell; Schnell has since found considerable success while Nam has been idle. That’s not frustrating for him, however.
“Never frustrating. It was a close fight, it was a good battle. It always seems that these guys that I fight, they always seem to do a lot better,” Nam told The Top Turtle Podcast on Cageside Press recently. “Sergio Pettis, Kai Kara-France, Matt Schnell, man they seem to be doing good. I feel like I should have been here a long time ago.”
Nam’s long road to the UFC was not lost on many observers, and all kinds of obstacles kept him from arriving sooner.
“It was always either contract disputes, right place, right time, a bunch of stuff. I was stuck in that Bellator dispute, and then I was stuck fighting in Russia where they wouldn’t let me out,” Nam noted. “It took all the way until 2019 until I was able to make my presence in the UFC.”
That having been said, Nam believes that he debuted in the UFC at the right time. “Even though it took me a very long road to get here, I really honestly do believe now that I came in at the right time,” he stated. “Because I’ve always thought of myself as a late bloomer. With everything, whether it was maturing, whether it was playing sports, and now mixed martial arts. I really do, I still feel that I’m in my prime. I feel better in my 30s now than even when I was in my 20s actually.”
Some of that comes through trial and error, and knowledge of the sport, Nam added. “I really do feel that me coming in 2019 with all of this knowledge and not too much of a banged up body — I didn’t grow up wrestling like a bunch of my friends, I learned it at the right time — I really did come into the UFC when I should have.”
UFC San Diego takes place this Saturday, August 13, 2022 at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. Tyson Nam faces Ode Osbourne in a flyweight contest on the preliminary card.