When Strikeforce lightweight Conor Heun spoke to Five Ounces of Pain last week about his intention to weather out any Armbar attempts opponent Magno Almeida might throw at him over the weekend at “Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum” it seemed easy to dismiss his statement as hyperbole. Though a talented grappler in his own right, Heun is human and few people can even imagine the type of intestinal fortitude required to willfully accept the damage dished out by an Armbar rather than tapout, let alone put it into practice in a real-life situation.
However, when Heun actually found himself in a position to practice what he preached he not only did so but gritted it out for the rest of the fight and walked away with a decision win. The 32-year old’s opportunity to back up his words with action came midway through his bout with Almeida when the BJJ blackbelt locked in an Armbar likely causing most viewers at home to grimace and rub their own limbs out of appreciation for the tightness of the hold. Then, to the surprise of everyone in attendance outside of Heun’s corner and the fighter himself, the Californian knuckled up, kept working, and eventually escaped the submission attempt.
Unfortunately, the decision to do so did not come without a price and makes his performance even more impressive given the damage he apparently suffered as a result of Almeida’s technique.
“They reset (the arm). There are a couple of fractures but (the doctors) couldn’t tell what was old damage and what was new damage. I’ll need an MRI in a week to find out what the plan is,” Heun explained through a text-exchange with 5 OZ on Sunday.
The less time Heun is out the better not only where his career is concerned but for fans as well given his approach to competition and recent time on the sport’s proverbial D.L. with only two fights in the previous two years. He is 9-4 in his career with six finishing performances while only having fallen in competition as the result of the judges’ scorecards (three of them split decisions including a 2010 defeat to K.J. Noons).
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE