For Strikeforce lightweight Pat “Bam Bam” Healy, 2011 might have been his best yet in terms of achieving both personal and professional highs.
“A lot of the goals I had set, I was able to look back on them and check them off, and the few that I didn’t, I just didn’t get an opportunity to accomplish,” he said. “It was a real satisfying year for me.
“I gave (Lyle) Beerbohm his first loss. My (Eric) Wisely fight wasn’t my finest performance, but I did what I need to do to get a win; sometimes those fights that everyone expects you to win are kind of the hardest to have good performances in. I felt real good about the Maximo (Blanco) fight; I stepped in short notice and took it to him. So I feel good about the performances I had.”
Healy feels branching out in regards to the way he worked on his game also paid of dividends last year.
“I learned a lot in the way I was training, or not training, from guys like BJ Penn,” he said. “I knew I needed to focus a little bit more on technique, and I feel I made those changes in my training. I’m progressing at the fastest rate I ever have; I’m getting better every day.
“I got to travel around a little bit, like my trip to China and focus on my stand-up while I was out there and I think that was a big help too.”
Not only did Healy work to sharpen his physical tools, but also worked on making his mind just as dangerous of a tool in fights.
“I’ve been working with a sports psychologist, Dr. Steve (of Mental Training Program),” said Healy. “I think the mental game is a huge part of it. You’ve got to train your mind as well as your body. If you leave that aspect out of it, you’re leaving a lot on the table.”
Healy will look to bring all the aspects of his game together when he returns to action on March 3 against Caros Fodor as part of the Showtime Extreme-broadcast undercard of Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey.
“I think he’s a lot like me,” said Healy of Fodor. “He likes to be in the clinch, maintain top position on the ground, and is a grinder. I feel like I’m a little bit better than he is in those spots. I feel I can control the takedowns and the top position and really show him what a grinder really is.”
Having accomplished the majority of what he set out to do last year, Healy plans to expand his horizons in 2012 and aim even higher than before.
“I’m really getting into BJJ and I really want to keep progressing there,” he said. “I just got my brown belt from Fabiano Scherner and I want to compete in a lot of tournaments. I’m going to compete in the Pan-Ams after my fight and I really want to do well in BJJ.
“It’s always a goal of mine to go undefeated every year. That’s the first one, but I really want to make a run at the title. I think I’m in a good spot right now. I’m near the top of the lightweight division. That’s my number one focus, is making a run at that title.”