Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
Pat Healy is rightfully frustrated after having three straight opponents back out of high profile fights against him due to injury as the final event in Strikeforce history looms. Still nervous about his future with Zuffa despite currently riding a five fight win streak, Healy vented to MMAmania.com about all the current issues that have been bothering him as he awaits his mystery opponent.
"Bam Bam" has won five straight fights in the last two years, which should have earned him a title shot, but champion Gilbert Melendez has backed out twice now with injuries.
After his third straight opponent, Jorge Masvidal dropped out due to an injury, Healy had had enough.
He just wants to stay active and fight the type of opponents that will keep him in the mix at 155 pounds, but with the upcoming January 12, 2013 Strikeforce show being the last event the promotion ever runs, he feels his opponents are backing out of fights against him to preserve their worth to the UFC.
Considering the run he's been on in the promotion, Healy would certainly like the peace of mind a guaranteed UFC contract would bring as he awaits his third opponent for this upcoming show.
Healy spoke with MMAmania.com about his frustrations entering the final Strikeforce event, having his career momentum stalled and making sure he's still got a chair when the music stops in this exclusive interview.
Check it out:
Pat Healy: Well, I think I hit a spot where all these other guys at 155 have been moved to the UFC and the guys I was supposed to fight, I think once they found out Strikeforce was going under, they got certain guarantees from the UFC that they could be in there and once they got those guarantees, I think they pulled out of the fight thinking "why risk it?" and I just can't figure out why I'm the only one that's got to fight for my job when guys I've beaten like Caros Fodor are getting shots. He's coming off a loss to me and he's getting a fight straight in the UFC. I have to go in there and fight whoever they can scrounge up for my contract.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): So you haven't heard anything from the UFC about getting your shot in there?
Pat Healy: No, I've been given no guarantee. Basically, what I'm getting is "win you're in, lose you're out," and they're going around to whoever they can find and telling them that, "Hey, if you beat Pat Healy, you're in. If you don't, then you're sitting in the same spot you're at now."
It's like I made somebody mad. I don't know what I've done. All I've ever done is taken every fight they've given me. I've taken two short notice fights for 'em and those are the only two fights of mine that have ever been on the main card. (laughs) I just feel like, "Man, who did I upset? What did I do?" I'm sorry if I did something.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): It seems strange too that with Lorenz Larkin getting hurt, they quickly found a UFC opponent in Ed Herman to fight Ronaldo Souza. With Masvidal getting hurt, there's no big UFC opponent for you despite you planning on fighting for the title at this show. You're just stuck there in purgatory for now.
Pat Healy: Yeah and I certainly feel like I've earned a big fight. I've worked hard, kept my head down, didn't ask for anything and I get to see the guy who I was supposed to fight go straight into the UFC for a title shot, rumored anyway. It's like, why am I getting passed over and not being considered for a big fight when I feel like I've done everything and earned it?
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Speaking of Melendez, the conspiracy theory is that these guys might actually have some injuries but they are the normal nicks and nacks that most fighters fight with. Do you think these guys would be keeping their fight commitments with you if they didn't have a potential free ride into the UFC?
Pat Healy: Yeah, and I think that was the dealbreaker. I think if Strikeforce was still going on and we were going to have future shows, then either of those guys, Melendez or Masvidal would have been happy to fight me. Whatever little injury they may have gotten, it was more of a business decision, wanting to go in [to the UFC] with as much worth as they can.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): So how is this extra pressure affecting you, considering you think you'll need to defeat this mystery opponent to get into the UFC?
Pat Healy: Yeah, I don't know. I certainly don't want to fight especially with my whole career on the line with the UFC and all that. I couldn't imagine if I don't have a job at the end of this. I don't know what I'd do. I'd be so devastated. I felt like I had a good solid job with Strikeforce and now that it's going away, I don't feel like I have any love carrying over and it's really got me nervous. As far as I know. I'm still fighting on that card on January 12th. I've got no idea of the opponent. They tell me I'm still on it, I'm still fighting. They haven't made a move to bring me over to the UFC. I feel like I've been preparing for a fight for six months now.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you feel like this last stretch with all the fights falling apart has stagnated your career a bit, perhaps killed some of your momentum?
Pat Healy: Yeah, definitely. I'm just hitting my prime now. I've got to look at making enough money in the next five or six years to ideally last the rest of my life. When you're only fighting every six months, that's not a very good outlook.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What would your perfect Christmas or New Years wish be for this upcoming January 12th show?
Pat Healy: I just want a big fight, man. I don't want to fight an opponent who nobody's ever heard of or someone they'll downplay if I have a good fight, saying, "Well he should have won." I want to fight somebody big and I feel like I've earned it. It's hard too because I am super thankful for Strikeforce. They have given me a great life and a great career in the promotion. As frustrated as I am, I do appreciate everything they've done for me. I just want it to keep rolling. I want to keep the same life that's been provided for me. I just want to get rolling and make sure that when the music stops, I still have a seat.
You can follow Pat on Twitter @BamBamHealy.