Hawaii’s Tyson Nam relishes ‘swimming with the sharks’ in the UFC ahead of New Zealand showdown against ranked opponent


Tyson Nam

When Tyson Nam enters the cage at UFC Fight Night 168 in New Zealand, he is well aware of how big the first UFC win of his career would be.

With only fourteen fighters ranked in the latest UFC Top-15, Nam’s opponent Kai Kara-France serves as a potential catapult into the title mix for the Kailua native.

“Kai Kara-France is ranked number eight in the world, so you with a victory over him in his hometown, that’s a big win. The flyweight division in the UFC is shallow but man, it is shallow full of Sharks,” Nam told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “It’s the best in the world, it don’t get any better than this right now so I’m swimming with the sharks. These guys are swimming with this shark, so it’s going to be an eating frenzy.”

Nam, a 13-year MMA veteran made his UFC debut five months ago in a decision loss to Sergio Pettis who has since signed with Bellator. That bout was held in Pettis’ home country of Mexico, and in Nam’s second bout in the organization he once again finds himself fighting in hostile territory. However, it’s an experience that he welcomes with open arms.

“Hell yeah, we thrive off of these boos, and f-you’s, and you suck. All I hear is music to my ears,” said Nam. “If you’re a fighter, fighting in the UFC and you’re not excited, you’re in the wrong business brother, because this is the Super Bowl of MMA.”

Nam’s bout against France is set for Saturday at 11:00am HST on ESPN+ as part of the prelims of UFC Fight Night 168. Nam’s fight is scheduled as the fourth on the card.

The second fight on the prelims lineup will feature Makaha’s Maki Pitolo against Takashi Sato.

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