Former Pancrase lightweight champion and Sengoku star Maximo Blanco (8-2-1) is a ferocious young talent looking to move his career forward in America.
He was slated to make his U.S. debut against former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson at the promotion’s Sept. 10 event in Cincinnati, but that fell apart when Thomson suffered a severe foot injury in training.
Fear not, however, those awaiting Blanco’s debut on American soil won’t have to wait any longer. Pat Healy has agreed to step in on short notice to fight him at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal event, so there won’t be any delays.
Strikeforce announced the change Monday evening.
Blanco (8-2-1) arrives in America on the heels of a six-fight winning streak, the five most recent bouts being under the Sengoku banner. In fact, Blanco has fought all 11 of his professional bouts in Japan either under the Sengoku or Pancrase banners.
In Healy (27-17), he draws a seasoned fighter with four times the experience he has. Healy has been a journeyman, however, riding the roller coaster of wins vs. losses his entire career. He’s currently on the upswing, winning his last two bouts, both for Strikeforce, as well as going 5-1 in his last six bouts.
As much as this fight is an opportunity for Blanco to begin to make his mark in America, it as just as much Healy’s opportunity to break out of the journeyman mold and prove that he belongs in title contention.
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