Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at flyweight Ben Nguyen as he takes on “Turkish Delight” Alp Ozkilic at UFC Fight 65 in Adelaide, Australia.Ben Nguyen
Hometown: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Weight Class: Flyweight
Camp: Tiger Muay Thai
Career Record: 13-3
Key Wins: None
Key Losses: None
A long time fighter on the regional MMA scene, Nguyen has been fighting professionally since 2006. The aggressive striker has been a roll winning his last seven fights in the cage dating back to 2010. He earned internet fame earlier this year due to a viral video about him getting revenge on a poorly behaved, heavily tattooed opponent via quick knockout.
Tends to push forward into the clinch
Active clinch game with knees
Solid top control
Fought exclusively at bantamweight; making his UFC debut at flyweight
Tends to rush to quickly forward meaning strikes are more glancing as opposed to calculated
Relies too much on scrambles in grappling exchanges
Rather untested off his back
Matchup with Alp Ozkilic
Good matchup to start off the card between JUCO All-American wrestler Alp Ozkilic and newcomer Ben Nguyen. Both fighters have shown that they are capable on the feet. Ozkilic’s boxing has improved in recent fights and he was landing regularly against one of the best in the division John Lineker. Nguyen has fought extensively on the Australian circuit and there he has displayed decent pop in his hands and a strong top control game. In this fight, Nguyen will have to prove he can stop the takedown if he expects to win this fight. Ozkilic is a strong fighter in this division and his wrestling is multiple levels above that of Nguyen. The Turkish American has struggled with cardio in some previous fights and that is a cause for concern if this develops into a barn burner. Ultimately, Ozkilic is a major step up for Nguyen and I’m not convinced he’s ready yet for that challenge. In an entertaining bout, look for Ozkilic to grab a decision win.
Ben Nguyen is an action fighter that can be dominant when he’s able to be the bully in a fight. Despite being around the MMA scene for several years, he’s only 26 years old. He’s at one of the better camps in the region (Tiger Muay Thai) and is an interesting addition to the UFC’s roster in this weight class. The UFC is bring in as many fighters that can be deemed exciting and powerful. Nguyen has the look of a fighter that fits those characteristics. His previous level of competition leaves a lot to be desired, but he should get the opportunity to prove his worth as I expect him to feature on cards in this region over the next couple years. Assuming he can stuff some takedown and be a bit more calculated in the stand up, he has the ability to win a couple fights in the UFC.
Check out Ben Nguyen in some of his recent fights:
Ben Nguyen vs. Julz Jackal
Ben Nguyen vs. Greg Penaloza