In a week packed with MMA, Saturday night treats us to a third installment in seven days. Strikeforce brings us two title fights and a well stacked card that should please even the pickiest fans. One of the great matches on this card is the bout between Pat Healy and Mizuto Hirota. Healy has been tearing through the lightweight division and is on a very nice, four fight win streak. Hirota has a two fight streak going, and has faced some tough competition in the DEEP promotion. In a recent TapouT Radio interview, Pat discusses his upcoming fight as well as his concerns with being shoved back onto the undercard once again, despite being an almost clear cut, number one contender.
Stephie Daniels: Talk a little about your training camp and how you've been preparing for your opponent.
Pat Healy: I did my camp at Team Quest, where I do most of my stuff. It really went great. You know, I hate being the guy to talk about how perfect camp went, but it really was a good one. I brought in a couple of Muay Thai guys to help me out on my clinch. I haven't really been happy with the way my striking has been going, so I really wanted to work hard on that. I'll never be one of those guys from range, the Anderson Silva type, real slick. I worked a lot on knees and elbows to make it a dirty, grinding fight like I excel in.
Stephie Daniels: What do you think separates a grinder from a point fighter that's just in there to eke out a win?
Pat Healy: Watching the UFC this past weekend, it seems like some of these guys are fighting not to lose and not to take any chances, but if you're not taking a chance to win the fight, you're never going to finish the fight. You'vew got to put yourself out there and you've got to try to make things happen. That's one thing I've always tried to do. I'm not just going to take a guy down and try to hold that position. If it leads to me getting into a bad position, to me, it's worth the risk. I'll take that risk anytime. If you're not risking it to finish the fight, then I don't know what you're doing in there.
Pat Healy: He got into the UFC by beating my brother, and that's how he ended up winning it. Especially at the end, he just took him down and rode it out. It's pretty hypocritical for him to scream out, 'Are you gonna ride me or fight me'. I think a lot of fighters have short memories, [laughs] maybe because of how much we get hit in the head. Everybody only remembers when it happens to them. They forget when they do it. I just wanted to put it out there and remind him that he's done it before too.
Stephie Daniels: I know you've been sort of mystified, like the rest of us, about how you can be the next logical contender, yet still only get featured on the undercard. Talk about that a little bit.
Pat Healy: I don't really know why, but I feel like I've upset somebody. From what I understand, it's not Strikeforce that has the call on the line-up of the cards, it's Showtime. I know they are primarily used to running boxing, so maybe that's the reason. Maybe they don't like my ground style. It is frustrating, and you'd think with me clearly being the number one contender right now, that they would want to kind of build my name a little bit.
Stephie Daniels: Do you feel like you're going to be the bully in this fight, yet again, due to the size difference and your style?
Pat Healy: [laughs] Yeah, I think that is definitely going to be a big advantage. I don't think he's every felt anybody the size of me in there with him. I know that was one thing that really wore out Maximo Blanco. I've even heard that he's smaller than Maximo, and he was absolutely tiny. I'll be using that Greco style that I have, making him carry my weight, which can really wear a smaller man out.
Stephie Daniels: Have they told you anything as far as what the future holds going past this fight? The clock is winding down to the end of the Strikeforce contract, so I'm wondering if they've maybe said something to the effect that if you win, Gilbert Melendez is next for you and it will happen this year.
Pat Healy: Yeah, well, they keep me pretty well in the dark on that [laughs]. There are rumors of a title shot if I win this fight, so I really hope they stay true to that, but I really have no idea what's going on with Strikeforce. With the comments some of the Showtime executives made in a recent interview, it doesn't seem very promising that they're going to stick around. Then they kind of bragged about puttin Dana in his place, but Dana knows how to run a successful organization, so I don't think that was the best move for the longevity of Strikeforce, if that's what really happened.
Stephie Daniels: What did you think of Chael Sonnen's coach wanting to file an appeal for the fight to make it a no contest because of the knee?
Pat Healy: It's silly. I don't know any other way to describe it. Some of Scott McQuarry's comments about it seemed really strange to me. This thing about Chael's mouth being busted, and him having to get stitches, I don't know if that really happened. I don't think that was the case. I didn't see him spitting any blood out. I know I had my tongue almost bit completely through, and it was a bloody mess.
Stephie Daniels: Was the incident with you biting through your tongue during a fight?
Pat Healy: It was a while ago. I never had a fitter mouth piece for a long time and it was a fight I had in the WEC against Tiki Ghosn. Somewhere in the fight, I just bit all the way through it. A big, old slab was hanging off, and my buddy in the hotel, afterward, played doctor and cut it off for me. It was pretty disgusting [laughs]. It had to go. It was just slapping around on the side of my mouth, and was affecting the way I was talking. I got these good friends that were happy to chop it off [laughs].
Stephie Daniels: You've told me before about how you use floatation tank therapy as part of your training regimen. Are you still doing that?
Pat Healy: Oh yeah, definitely. Actually, this fight is in Portland, so I talked with the guys at Float On, which is where I do my floats, and I'm actually going to float the day of the fight, first thing in the morning, so that's going to be an interesting thing for me, the same day I fight.
Stephie Daniels: Have you added anything else into your training that might be considered a new age tool or technique?
Pat Healy: You know, ever since I went to China, my friends call me China Pat, because I dig on anything Chinese [laughs]. I started doing chi gong, which is like tai chi. It's basically moving meditation, and it's supposed to help focus energy in your body. It's slow paced, and I guess I'd compare it to a yoga routine.
Stephie Daniels: Have you been consulting with Steven Seagal?
Pat Healy: [laughs] No Seagal. I won't be working with him any time soon. I enjoyed his movies when I was growing up, but I think that's about where my fascination with him stops.
Stephie Daniels: What are your thoughts on Seagal and the way he's inserted himself into MMA?
Pat Healy: It's a joke. Are you kidding me? I can't possibly believe that he teaches Anderson or any of those guys anything worthwhile. He's a strange, strange dude. I don't know why they keep him around. It's got to be a joke. That's the only thing I can think of.
My roommate is Lloyd Woodard from Bellator. He knows a pretty good story about Steven. In Butte, Montana, I believe that's the city, I just know it was in Montana, on St. Patty's Day, he got his butt kicked at the bar pretty good by a local tough guy. I don't know the full story, but I'd love for someone to ask Steven about that one, because there were quite a few eyewitnesses. I'll have to get more details from Lloyd., but from what I understand, it's quite a well known story [laughs].
You can follow Pat via his Twitter, @BamBamHealy