Pat Healy Says Latest Performance Not His “Greatest,” Believes Strikeforce’s Days Could Be Numbered
By Kelsey Mowatt
Pat Healy recently told FCF that he was looking forward to being the favored fighter when he took on Eric Wisely last Friday, and although he may not have dominated the Strikeforce newcomer from start to finish, the 28 year-old veteran didn’t belie the betting lines either. In the end, despite a spirited effort from Wisely, Healy worked his way to a unanimous decision victory over the lightweight to record his 25th pro win.
“I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t really be sure, but it doesn’t feel like it was one of my greatest,” said Healy when asked to his evaluate his performance at the August 12th, Strikeforce Challengers event. “I just kind of grinded him out. There were a lot of little simple things I wasn’t doing to control the top position; controlling his wrists, clearing my wrists when he was holding them, clearing my head when he was grabbing on to it, and I was really sloppy in his guard, so that hurt my ground-and-pound I think.”
Prior to the bout, Healy credited Wisely for his striking abilities and possessing a “dangerous guard,” the latter of which ended up giving the Team Quest fighter difficulties, especially early on.
“He was a tough little guy,” said Healy, who took Wisely down several times throughout the bout. “He had a lot better guard than I thought actually; he was pretty elusive and did a really good job avoiding damage.”
“I would have liked to do have done a little more work from the clinch,” Healy added. “Standing up, land more knees and elbows, hit him in the head a bit more, but once I got the fight down I was able to keep it down which was good.”
It wasn’t long ago that Healy decided to abandon the welterweight division after repeatedly finding himself in bouts with bigger and stronger opponents. The wisdom behind Healy’s decision to drop to 155 pounds was evident once again Friday, as the UFC vet was visibly much larger than his latest lightweight opponent.
“I think he’s too small for 155,” said Healy, while discussing whether size played a factor in Friday’s win, particularly as the bout wore on. “I think maybe he should look at dropping to 45. When you look at the weigh-in pictures and in the fight, that’s why I dropped to 55. When a guy’s that much bigger than you it’s just going to wear you down you know?”
With the win, Healy has now gone 3-1 since he signed with Strikeforce last year, and while one would think he’ll face another of the promotion’s leading lightweights next, the vet is more concerned about fighting and fighting again soon.
“I don’t know,” said Healy, when asked who Strikeforce may look to match him up against. “I just want to fight again as soon as possible. As I’ve said a couple of times now, I only fought once when I was 27 years old…that is not good. I felt like it affected this performance a little bit; I was a little bit rusty. You know I just want to fight; hopefully by the end of October, although I’d really like to be on that next Challengers card in September.”
Healy recently voiced his frustrations to FCF about the inactivity he’s experienced since signing with Strikeforce, and the negative financial effects that have risen as a result. While Healy also said that since Zuffa acquired Strikeforce he’s more optimistic his schedule will be busier, questions remain as to what the future holds for the promotion altogether, particularly due to the fact its broadcasting deal with Showtime could reportedly end soon.
“It seems to me like it might go away,” said Healy, while discussing the future of Strikeforce. “I mean it’s not making money like the UFC, obviously, and the UFC is doing so many shows right now that they need fighters.”
“I just don’t see Strikeforce making a bunch of money any time soon,” Healy added. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see it gone by February.”
While the UFC lightweight division has gotten deeper since it took on several of the now defunct WEC’s more notable competitors, Healy believes he’s opened a door to the MMA giant with his recent success.
“I feel pretty confident that if they were to merge over that I would go with it, coming off two wins and having gone three and one with Strikeforce,” Healy added. “My only loss was a tough, close fight with Josh Thomson, and he’s been a perennial top guy at 155…There’s so much talent in the UFC though, you can’t really not have a tough, talented fighter to fight.”