Caros Fodor On “Grinder” Pat Healy: “I’m Going To Hurt Him From The Clinch”
By Kelsey Mowatt
After Caros Fodor needed just 13 seconds in December to put away fellow contender Justin Wilcox, the lightweight relayed to FCFighter that he believed he was ready to challenge Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez. At the time, a confident Fodor also conceded that the promotion might not tap him for a title shot just yet, and that he may in fact be “one fight away.” Not too long after, of course, it was announced that Fodor would take on rising veteran Pat Healy, March 3rd in Columbus. Although it might not be the title shot Fodor wanted, it’s another step in that direction.
“I was okay with it. In my mind I thought that Pat was ahead of me in the rankings after beating (Lyle) Beerbohm and then Maximo Blanco,” said Fodor (7-1), when asked for his reaction upon finding out he would fight Healy next. “He was always ahead of me so I’m just hoping now that if I win, I’ll get the title shot. As long as that’s not too far fetched, I’m totally good to take this fight.”
Of course, Strikeforce’s upcoming event will also feature another notable lightweight match-up, as former champ Josh Thomson will battle KJ Noons.
“KJ and Josh are also right up there, but they’ve both had losses relatively recently,” Fodor noted. “Thomson’s already fought him (Melendez) twice, so, I don’t know how Strikeforce wants to work that but I think the winner of Pat and I should definitely get a shot, and those guys can work for their shot too.”
While Fodor has worked his way up the lightweight ranks by winning five straight fights under the Strikeforce banner, Healy (26-16) has also impressed lately by scoring three straight victories.
“Oh man he’s tough,” said Fodor, when asked to assess the abilities of his 28 year-old opponent. “He’s a grinder. He fights kind of like I do; he gets on people, gets them up against the cage and beats on them. I think his whole system is to somehow get your back. From the clinch he’s constantly trying to pass the arm and get to the back; he does the suplex thing, and he has a tricky rear-naked-choke. People might think that they’re safe but they’re not.”
“He’s dangerous everywhere; I cannot take him lightly at all,” Fodor added. “He’s ruined a lot of guys that were up-and-coming. He’s been around and in battles that I haven’t been in. It’s going to be a good test for me and I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
It will be interesting to see how Healy elects to approach Fodor, particularly due to the fact that the AMC Pankration fighter is coming off a memorable knockout over an accomplished wrestler like Wilcox.
“I think he’s definitely going to try to close the distance,” said Fodor, who is also 28 years old. “In his mind I think the clinch is going to be a money spot for him, where he’s going to bully me, but in my mind, I think I’m going to hurt him from the clinch. I think I’ll be trying to fight takedowns and he’ll be trying to get in. I think for both of us it’s going to be a points scoring battle and both of us will have to be on our A game.”
Having worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal in December, Melendez will now sit back, wait and observe to see who indeed will challenge him next.
“I give him a lot of respect,” Fodor said about the Strikeforce champ. “He beat Masvidal with striking. If he had chosen to, I think he could have mixed his wrestling in a whole lot more and got in some more dominant positions. I think in his mind he wanted to make a statement and beat Masvidal with striking, which is his strong point.”