Pat “Bam Bam” Healy gave Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm his first loss of his career with a unanimous decision win in their main event at Strikeforce Challengers 14 on Friday night in Cedar Park, Texas.
Beerbohm was immediately aggressive out of the gate, throwing a left headkick and quickly transitioning into a double-leg takedown. The fight, shortly thereafter, went back to the feet and the two fighters worked in the clinch. Then it was Healy’s turn to put his opponent on his back, as he caught a Beerbohm low kick and put him down. The fight went back to feet again, but not for long. Beerbohm lifted Healy up on his shoulder then slammed him to the canvas, Matt Hughes style. Neither was able to capitalize before the first-round bell.
The second round saw Beerbohm work to get a double-leg takedown at about one minute in, but Healy’s position close to the cage helped prevent it. More scrambling led to Healy securing a triangle, but Beerbohm escaped and worked the fight back to the feet. Late in the second, Healy nearly pulled off a painful keylock, but Beerbohm persevered and pulled out of it. Shortly after that, Healy had a soft triangle around Beerbohm and attempted a Kimura, but it was too late in the round and time ran out.
Both fighters looked winded in the final round. Their sloppy punches were clear evidence of that. Healy scored a takedown on Beerbohm and attempted a rear naked choke, but from the side. Clearly, this wasn’t going to work, and Beerbohm escaped and worked into a more suitable position. Late in the round, they scrambled on the ground, trading off dominant positions. When the two finally got back to the feet, their punches had no steam, but they threw blows until the end of the round anyway, leaving it up to the judges to make the call.
All three judges scored the contest 29-28 in favor of Healy.
After the win, Healy talked with Mauro Ranallo about who he would like to face next in the Strikeforce cage. The knowledge that both Billy Evangelista and Jorge Masvidal have defeated Pat’s brother, Ryan Healy, gives him a clear desire as to who he plans on taking on next. With the two squaring off on March 5, Healy wants to test the winner.
“I’d really like that fight,” Healy said. “They both beat my brother. Being a proud Irishman, I want that revenge for the family.”
Ryan Couture collected his second win in the professional ranks, submitting Lee Higgins late in the third round of their Challengers bout.
Couture came into his second professional fight wanting to show the improvement in his stand-up. He and Higgins stood and tested the distance with each other for a good amount of the first round. It wasn’t until nearly a minute left in the opening round when Couture threw a left body kick that Higgins caught, but it opened up an opportunity for Couture to land a right hand that dropped his opponent. From there, Couture pressed the action on the ground, attempting a guillotine from mount, then a D’Arce choke that looked like it could have ended the fight. Fortunately for Higgins, the opening round ended at the bell, not in a submission.
The second round saw Couture test Higgins on the feet again, but not doing much damage until he landed a right hand that rocked his opponent, sending him to the canvas. After a brief scramble, Couture secured a takedown. The Xtreme Couture lightweight transitioned to Higgins’ back, where he controlled his opponent and landed strike after strike until time ran out.
Up two rounds to none, Couture looked light on his feet and wore Higgins down as the end neared. At just under two minutes to go, Couture got the single leg takedown and, once again, controlled his opponent’s back. It was here that the son of UFC Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture worked for a rear naked choke, finally sinking it in at 4:41 of the final round.
Working the hands was what he wanted to showcase, and although it took him a while, Couture was happy with the outcome.
“I had a hard time finding him with my hands,” Couture said after the win. “But when the right hand did connect, it worked.”
Carlo “Neo” Prater made quick work of Bryan Travers, locking in the D’Arce choke early in the opening round of their fight. The MMA veteran showed some skillful jiu-jitsu. He needed only 38 seconds to put away his opponent and collect his 26th win, snapping a two-fight losing streak.
David Douglas submitted a highly overwhelmed Nick Gonzalez in the first round of their 150-pound match-up. Douglas, a Cesar Gracie student, rocked Gonzalez on the feet before mounting his opponent’s back and choking him out at 1:05 of the opening five mintues. The win was Douglas’ first by way of submission.
Ryan Larson put on a grappling clinic against Eric Apple, pulling off a slick triangle from back mount in the second round. Larson dominated from beginning to end with only little offense from Apple late in the first round. Larson’s ability to control Apple on the ground led to the submission win at 3:14 of the second stanza.