There were more than just a few people that believed that up and coming Canadian welterweight sensation, Ryan Ford, could very well be the one of the weight classes premier prospects. At 8-0, Ford had carved a path of destruction in Canada’s welterweight ranks before meeting up with the much more experienced and less talked about, Pat Healy at MFC 17. The meeting did no go as planned for the highly regarded Ford.
A third round armbar submission victory for the battle tested Healy forced a lot of people to take notice of the tougher than nails Team Quest welterweight. It must have been a fluke, many thought, an upset if you will
After Ford had the chance to reel of two consecutive wins following his loss to Healy, the Canadian stand out looked to settle the score and erase the only loss on his record, and for the second straight time, Ford came up short against Healey, dropping a five round decision to Healy and the MFC welterweight championship in the process.
For years, Healy has flown under the radar in mixed martial arts, but his recent move to Team Quest and back to back victories have him standing out in a division packed with talent.
In an exclusive interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com, the one that is known as “Bam-Bam” admitted that he feels completely ready to take the next step in his career and face the best the game has to offer. If his journey to face the sports very best competition leads him to an organization such as Strikeforce, then it’s a move that the competition driven Healey will welcome.
Cory Brady with FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What was the first form of martial arts that you became involved with?
Pat Healy: I first got into wrestling when I was in sixth grade but I didn’t really get serious with it until I got into high school. During high school me and my twin brother, Ryan, found a judo/jiu-jitsu school. It was a Rickson Gracie satellite school, so I started doing jiu-jitsu and wrestling when I was about fourteen.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So when did you get your introduction the striking side of things?
Pat Healy: The striking came along from a guy that lived up the street from us who was doing Muay Thai. he basically wanted a couple of punching bags so me and my brother would just go up to his house and have the crap beaten out of us. he would leg kick us and brutalize us until we got stronger. We just kept learning the game.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What were some of the factors that went into you wanting to become a professional fighter?
Pat Healy: I’ve always been really competitive by nature. With fighting, I mean, you can’t really get more of a pure competition than that.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Where do you train out of and who are some of your main training partners?
Pat Healy: I’m training at Team Quest in Portland, Oregon. I get a lot of rounds with Ed Herman, Matt Lindland, my brother, Ryan Healy and a bunch of other really good up and coming fighters.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: It must work out really good for your motivation and training to have a twin brother that’s also involved in the fight game.
Pat Healy: Yeah, he’s my twin brother, so we’re pretty much best friends. we work together, train together and we were living together up until about two weeks ago. We spend a lot of time training together and it definitely motivates you because you never want to lose a round to your brother.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Are you able to train full time or are you holding down a day job as well?
Pat Healy: I work a part time job right now doing water restoration service. I basically just rip things out. Stuff that’s damaged and wet, I take it out. They’re really cool and understanding about letting me go in time for me to make practice and all of that stuff.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: I don’t think many people realize that you were fighting some of the best guys in the business right off the bat. I was looking over your record and early on you fought, Brad Blackburn, Dennis Kang, Dan Hardy, Chris Lytle, Paul Daley, and Jay Hieron among others. Do you think your experience with such tough competition early on has made you a more skilled fighter today?
Pat Healy: Oh yeah, because I fought a lot of those guys when I was twenty one or twenty two and I’ve seen what the top level is like and I know I can get there.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: I heard you one crazy trip up to Canada to fight Ryan Ford. What can you tell me about that?
Pat Healy: I’ve been up there like five or six times and I’ve never had a problem. I flew up there, and when I got to Vancouver they pulled me out of line and sent me through customs. They went through all of my baggage, then they took my passport and I wasn’t really thinking anything of it. I was sitting there and like forty five minutes later they came back. I guess what had happened is, when I was in college I was at a party doing a little under age drinking and I ran off when the cops came. I didn’t have an altercation with the cops, they didn’t even come close to catching me, but someone had ratted me out from the party. They ended up charging me with disorderly conduct and it ended up showing up when they ran my passport. They said that I was criminally inadmissible to the country. They took me away and held me in customs for like three hours. They ended up sending me back to Portland. Once I got back there, I flew up to Seattle a friend of the promoters and my agent came and picked me up. From there we just drove across the border. I showed them my passport and they just let me right through. That led to a fifteen hour Greyhound bus ride that got me into Edmonton at 1 a.m. the night before the weigh-ins. I won my fight and then I had turn right around and catch a thirty three hour ride back on the bus the next day.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So looking back on your rematch with Ryan Ford, did it unfold the way expected it to?
Pat Healy:I knew if I was more aggressive with my takedowns that I would be able to gain top position and I knew that my ground would be better than his. It went pretty well. I would have much rather been able to finish the fight, but I was happy with the way it went.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: The two wins over Ford have forced a lot of people to take notice, what would you attribute the recent upswing of your career to?
Pat Healy:I think a lot of it has to do with me training at Team Quest. the two fights that I’ve had since coming over to team Quest have been both of the Ryan Ford fights. I think a lot of it are the coaches that I have that keep me focused and learning every day. I’ve also kind of changed my lifestyle a little. Not that I was living a bad lifestyle, but I’ve just really gotten into running a lot more and just really trying to make my whole life centered around my mixed martial arts career. Just always staying in shape and doing all of the things that are going to get me in better shape.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: I know Nick Thompson issued a challenge your way after your fight with Ford. What happened at the sushi bar?
Pat Healy: You know, Nick’s a really good friend of mine and we were just kind of clowning around. We figured if we were ever going to have to fight, we might as well try to sell it. There was no big event at the sushi bar.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: It seemed like both of you guys were trying to stop yourselves from laughing.
Pat Healy:Yeah, neither of us have ever really done anything like that, and I don’t know, we just wanted to get people talking.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How do you feel you guys would match up?
Pat Healy: Nick’s really tough. I think I could control the top position, but he’s really good standing and he’s really slick with his submissions. His stand up is definitely better than mine, so I don’t know, I think it would be a back and forth kind of fight.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Would you be interested in fighting for an organization like Strikeforce sometime in the future?
Pat Healy:I sure wouldn’t mind being around the U.S. a lot more and not have to deal with the hassle of getting into Canada. The MFC’s treated me really well so i’d like to fight for them and then get into Strikeforce. Someone that would let me do a duel contract.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How do you feel you would match up with guys like Joe Riggs, Nick Diaz or Jake Shields?
Pat Healy: They definitely have a stable of really cream of the crop fighters, but I think I could be right in the mix to move on up towards a title shot.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Is a move up in competition in the future something you are looking for?
Pat Healy: I’m feeling really good right now and I feel like my training at Team Quest has been paying off tremendously, so I wouldn’t mind having a big fight in the U.S.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: A lot of people don’t realize that you hold the last win over Carlos Condit. What can you tell me about that fight?
Pat Healy: That was a tough fight. It was a real crowd pleasing fight. It was like a non stop scramble. We would exchange on the feet, go into the clinch, I would take him down, we would scramble on the ground and get right back to the feet, the whole fight was like an endless cycle like that until I ended up catching him with the rear naked choke. He has a really good armbar and triangle type of attack and that’s one of my strong points, my submission defense. I think it was a good match up for me.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: If there came a point where he wanted to get you back in the cage for a rematch, is that something you would welcome?
Pat Healy: Definitely. Actually, right before the WEC decided to do away with the 170 pound division we had a deal worked out for the rematch in WEC. Now it’s obviously scratched but it was supposed to happen. I know that he wants it really bad still.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What does the future hold for Pat Healy?
Pat Healy: People can just expect a lot more exciting fights and a lot more victories from me. I’m training right, doing all the right things down at Team Quest and I really think this change is going to make me successful.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Is there anyone you would like to thank.
Pat Healy: I want to thank Robert and Jake at Denaro Sports Marketing. TapouT, Gamma-O, Panther Arms and all of my teammates for getting me ready for those five round championship fights.