According to the "official" UFC rankings, however, he already did. Look no further than his UFC 159 win over the rough-and-tumble Jim Miller, which took place last Saturday night (April 27, 2013) at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, a performance that earned him not one, but two "Fight Night" bonuses (see them here).
As far as "Bam Bam" is concerned, whoever is ranked above Miller is now fair game, according to his post-fight comments to the gang at FUEL TV:
"I feel so good. You can't break me down out there. I know I look a little beat up and my eye is swollen but I feel incredible. I've been working so hard for this return to the UFC. It's been seven years since I've been here and I've gone through so much since I've been gone. The only thing that kept me going is my love for fighting. I know how to use my weight and strength and that was the difference tonight. I was able to wear him down in the clinch and tire him out. That's what led to the submission. Jim was ranked number five in the world coming into this fight so I'd love to fight 4, 3, 2, or 1."
Healy (30-16) was imported from the now-defunct Strikeforce promotion when his first crack at the crown, scheduled for last January against Gilbert Melendez, went up in smoke following "El Nino's" untimely injury. Not coincedentally, Melendez is now a UFC fighter and coming off a razor-thin unanimous decision loss to division champion Ben Henderson.
That doesn't leave many options for Healy -- who said he's "over" the Melendez fight -- if he wants a piece of the championship puzzle. Anthony Pettis, also ranked in the top five, has abandoned his post in favor of a Jose Aldo fight later this year.
Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match.
For all the results and fallout from UFC 159, including live results, play-by-play, recaps, highlights, reactions and more click here.