Tyson Nam feels like “Caged animal” ahead of UFC event on June 13

Tyson Nam has nothing to do, but train.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nam is training full time for the first time in his career. Unable to go to work as a fitness coach due to Hawaii’s restrictions, the 36-year-old is keeping his day-to-day quite simple during quarantine. 

He trains, plays video games and stays in the house. He has plenty of time on his hands before his flyweight matchup with Ryan Benoit at UFC Fight Night this Saturday, June. 13.

“I got nothing to do, but train. This is actually the first time in my mixed martial arts career that I’ve been able to just train full time,” Nam said.

“It took a pandemic for me to do it. Just like my MMA career, it’s better late than never.”

Can’t stop, won’t stop

Nam pushed all quarantine to get on one of the UFC’s cards. He originally expected a May return against Benoit, but then extended his camp after the fight moved to June.

Nam is not one for sitting still. It’s why he already fought twice inside the octagon since signing with the promotion in August 2019. The Hawaiian is all about staying active.

“If I was going to get put on the very first card then yeah, put me on. I was working out everyday, I got let go from my job as probably like 90 percent of the people out there. There wasn’t anything to do, but work out,” Nam said. “Even more so out of straight boredom, ‘What the hell am I doing,’…I’m like a caged animal, let me out, let me go do something.”

Nam has participated in sports since he was around five years old. Basketball and baseball were his sports of choice. 

Nam never wrestled growing up, which is why he believes his body didn’t suffer an increasing amount of wear and tear through his career. Nam said he is healthier than he was a decade ago. 

“I even feel better in my mid-30’s then I did in my mid-20’s. It could be a little bit of trial and error, of wisdom, of better training, eating healthier and paying attention to that,” Nam said. “Wrestlers are the ones that sustain a lot of the injuries from going through that because it is such a grueling sport.”

New and improved

Nam will test himself for the third time under the UFC banner. Nam is coming off two-back-to-back losses to top 10 contenders in the UFC bantamweight division, Sergio Pettis and Kai Kara-France. Pettis is now signed with Belltor MMA, but Kara-France remains at No. 7 

If he learned anything from those two fights, it’s about what to improve on. Nam is not divulging any of the changes he’s made this camp, but turned quarantine into time well spent.

“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions, ups and downs, more downs since I’m coming off of two losses, but the third time might be the charm,” Nam said. “You guys might see a new Tyson Name come June 13, new and improved.”

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Connor Northrup
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.