The opening bout of the Strikeforce: "Barnett vs. Kharitonov" fight card taking place tonight (Sept. 10, 2011) in Cincinnati, Ohio, featured the stateside debut of "The Max Murderer" Maximo Blanco against veteran scrapper Pat Healy.
Blanco brought considerable hype with him from Japan and straight from the opening bell he proved worthy of it, busting up and battering his foe. Kicks, punches, takedowns; you name it, he executed it.
That included a point deduction in the first round for kicking Healy in his head on the ground. That infraction, unfortunately, stole all his momentum and allowed "Bam Bam" to come charging back. "Maxi" was the superior striker but Healy walked through every shot.
He also earned multiple takedowns and eventually locked in a sideways rear-naked choke that surprisingly got the tap in the second frame. Super, super impressive, especially considering the fact that Blanco had never been submitted in his short but stellar career.
What makes this victory so much more incredible is the fact that Healy was a walking zombie throughout much of his time in the cage. Blanco landed multiple shots throughout their two rounds of action that had Healy seeing stars.
You can't teach heart, Maniacs.
You also can't teach grit and determination and that's exactly what Healy used to pick up his third victory in a row while sending Blanco to defeat in his Strikforce debut.
Is there an Octagon in his future?