After years of seemingly making little to no headway, Strikeforce lightweight Pat “Bam-Bam” Healy has been picking up momentum over the last couple years, culminating with his most recent win this past weekend in Cincinnati, over Maximo Blanco at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov.
“I kind of had to weather Maximo’s storm,” Healy told MMAWeekly.com. “That was the game plan going in. I knew he was super-explosive and super-dangerous, and watch it early. I think I was able to do that, and wear him down and finish him.”
Shortly before Healy was able secure a submission in the second round, Blanco kicked him repeatedly in the face when the two were on the ground working for toe submissions. According to Healy, the kicks could have been more than just Blanco’s inexperience with the American rules of MMA.
“I don’t really think it was that unintentional,” said Healy. “He’s kind of had that MO before. He’s been disqualified over in Japan, and I’d heard he’d been disqualified in a couple of amateur events as well.
“It was really up to me (whether or not to stop the fight). They were giving me the choice of wanting to go on. At first, I was a little bit dazed and I didn’t think I was going to continue, but as my bearings came back, I knew I wanted to get after it.”
After the brief stoppage, Healy stepped up his game to ensure there’d be no controversy when it came to the fight’s finish.
“It kind of woke me up a little bit,” he said. “It reminds me that you’ve got to be on guard at all times. It definitely made me want to get a little more serious and start beating up on him back.”
Having been known for a scrapping style early in his career, Healy has worked hard to develop his game and become a true threat anywhere in a fight over the last several years.
“I think this performance was even more of a step in the right direction,” he said. “I was able to get off with my hands a lot more. Even though he was a really dangerous stand-up guy, I made it really competitive in that second round on the feet.
“I think that the whole time we were on the ground; I was grinding him with something. I’m kind of developing the kind of aggressive submission game that I’m working on really hard.”
Healy will get an opportunity to showcase his growing skills to a whole new crowd as he and fellow Team Quest member Brad Hannah travel to China for a six-week training camp being put on by the Xian Sports Academy, Chinese Top Team, and Legend FC.
“Team Quest has been talking with them and they’re going to bring me over as a representative to swap some techniques,” he said. “I think it’s going to be like seven or eight teams from all over China that will be coming together to see what we’ve been doing over at Team Quest over here in America.
“I am not going to be able to talk my way through it so much, so it’s going to force me to look at exactly what I’m doing and hopefully it will help me tighten up my technique that much more.”
Stateside, Healy is looking forward to continuing his ascent up the Strikeforce ranks, with an eye towards some possible revenge before year’s end.
“Hopefully (this most recent win) will solidify me on the Strikeforce arena shows, or whatever happens (with a possible merger) and keep me with the Zuffa guys,” concluded Healy. “I really hope they consider me for a rematch against Josh Thomson for the rumored Dec. 17 (Strikeforce fight card). I’d like to have that one back.”