UFC 141: Jimy Hettes a star in the making
Fighting for only the second time in the UFC, Pennsylvania native Jimy “The Kid” Hettes (10 wins, 0 losses) put on a ground-and-pound clinic for the MMA world to see at UFC 141. It was the first time he went the distance in a three-round fight, but he clearly dominated every minute.
Hettes outfought veteran fighter Nam Phan (17-10) so badly that he earned a score of 30-25 on two of the judges' scorecards.
The person that was most impressed with Hettes was UFC president Dana White.
White was asked at the post-fight news conference about Hettes' performance against Phan. “You guys heard me talk a lot about the new breed [of fighter] that's coming up and how they train differently. There’s one of them right there," White said pointing towards Hettes.
“That kid is nasty," White continued. "Tonight, it was fun watching him perform. Once he gets more comfortable here and starts to feel like this is really his home and this is his place, that kid is going to be putting on some shows."
The first time I saw Hettes fight live was at Shogun Fights I in 2009 in Baltimore. It was Hettes' third professional fight and the first professional MMA match in Maryland. Hettes won in 1:25 of the first round over Steven Baker.
But it wasn’t until I saw him fight five months later at Shogun Fights II that I thought this guy could be special. He fought a veteran fighter in James “Binky” Jones in Jones' hometown and beat him in 28 seconds. After that fight, the rumors spread that the UFC was looking to add him to the roster.
Hettes showed that he was a man of his word. He was offered a contract to fight in the UFC, with the first bout scheduled to take place at The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck Finale, but he turned the offer down due to prior engagements with another promotion. That took some guts and maturity.
In July 2011, Hettes officially signed with the UFC and made his debut on Aug. 14, 2011 against Alex “Bruce Leroy” Caceres. He won via submission (rear naked choke) at 3:12 of round 2.
Before the fight, UFC color commentator Joe Rogan said, “This is a spectacular opportunity and the door is open. Let’s see if Jimy Hettes can storm through the gates”
I wrote back then, “He not only stormed the gates, he has the keys to a bright future in the UFC.”
And after hearing the praise that Dana White heaped on him after UFC 141, Hettes not only has a bright future in the UFC, but he could be a future superstar.