Pat Healy “Can’t Get No Respect”, Says Strikeforce Has “Crippled” Him Financially
By Kelsey Mowatt
When Pat “Bam Bam” Healy became the first man to defeat Strikeforce lightweight Lyle Beerbohm in February, he had not only rebounded nicely from a memorable, submission loss to Josh Thomson last June, but he had also scored a victory over one of the promotion’s heralded contenders. Another bout with one of Strikeforce’s established fighters appeared to be in Healy’s immediate future.
Instead, however, the promotion decided to match Healy up against Strikeforce newcomer and 17-3 prospect Eric Wisely, at the upcoming Challengers event on August 12th. It was a decision that the 28 year-old fighter confesses, he didn’t see coming.
“I was definitely a little bit surprised,” said Healy, when asked for his reaction upon finding out he would face Wisely. “I thought that when they announced Jorge Gurgel on that card, I thought for sure, that was my fight you know? I’m pretty surprised they went the way they did. I think me and Gurgel, Joe Duarte and Eric Wisely would have been a little bit more appropriate of a fight.”
Wisely arrives in Strikeforce having won four straight fights that includes wins over UFC vets Matt Veach and Hermes Franca during that stretch. Wisely’s recent results have no doubt contributed heavily to Strikeforce’s matchmaking decision.
“I’m happy to have this fight actually,” Healy said. “I feel like I’m not the underdog for once. I feel like every time I fight I have to convince people that I have a chance to win. I think this time I’ll be the favorite.”
“He looks pretty well rounded,” Healy added while assessing Wisely’s abilities. “I think his strengths are his kickboxing, he looks like he has a pretty good guard; a dangerous guard, so I think his striking and his guard would be his strengths.”
Despite having scored wins over notable competitors like UFC vet Mike Guymon, rising Canadian welterweight Ryan Ford (twice), and the aforementioned Beerbohm in his last ten fights, Healy believes that many throughout the MMA world continue to overlook his accomplishments.
“I always joke with my friends that I really think I’m the Rodney Dangerfield of MMA; I can’t get no respect man,” Healy told FCF. “I finally saw a positive article about me in Fight Magazine; everything else in my career it seems like they call me a journeyman, or whatever, they don’t realize that I took a lot of my fights when I was 21, 22; fought really tough guys…Like I said, can’t get no respect.”
While Healy also holds wins over established welterweights like Carlos Condit, Paul Daley, and Dan Hardy, the fighter acknowledges that dropping down to lightweight was the right decision to make.
“I was always a little welterweight,” said Healy. “I was sort of in no man’s land where I couldn’t get down but I couldn’t get big enough to be a welterweight, but I think the drop was key. A lot is because of my training too… I learned from a lot of top fighters that I needed to slow down in training, work on my technique a bit more, and that’s really helped my game.”
Healy’s (24-16) upcoming bout with Wisley will be just the second of his 2011 campaign, and the UFC vet apparently isn’t happy about his work schedule.
“I’m going to be right on Sean Shelby (Strikeforce matchmaker) after this one to get another one lined up,” Healy noted. “It’s been really rough being with Strikeforce so far to be honest. It’s crippled me financially. I was in a good place financially, and when I signed with Strikeforce I thought it would be better, but it’s totally destroyed me. I really want to get on them; two fights in 13 months is a frickin joke for a 28 year old.”
Despite Healy’s rather evident frustration, the lightweight is confident that better days are ahead.
“I think now that Zuffa is behind them the fights will come more frequently,” said Healy. “Before Strikeforce seemed really disorganized about who you were fighting and when; it seemed like they just slapped the cards together a few weeks out…It seems like Zuffa is way more on top of it. When their guys took over we were in contact with Shelby right away, we’ve had contact with them the whole way.”