After edging out Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision at Strikeforce “Rockhold vs. Kennedy,” Pat Healy believes he’s ready for a title shot against lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez.
That doesn’t mean he was entirely pleased with his performance against Hirota, though.
“I think I got a little complacent in my training with my wrestling,” Healy told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Jordan Breen Show.” “I’ve had a lot of luck lately being able to dominate the wrestling and kind of getting takedowns whenever I wanted. I think in my training, I kind of neglected working on it as much as I should have. If anything, that’s what hindered me in the fight.”
Hirota appeared to win the first round on the strength of his striking and a couple of takedowns. Healy got rolling in the second and third, arguably deserving both rounds and the win. However, there have been some cries of foul largely due to the fact that one judge returned a 30-27 scorecard for Healy, who was fighting in his hometown of Portland, Ore.
“I think that card was unfortunate,” Healy said. “I don’t really see how you -- I think I’m pretty honest with myself and I don’t really see how you could score the fight 30-27.”
Still, Healy got the win, and now he’s hoping he’ll get a shot at Melendez.
“I still think I deserve a title shot,” Healy said. “Mizuto’s a solid guy. He was a champ over in Japan in two different organizations. It’s not like he was a low-level opponent who I happened to just barely get by. I think he was a world-class opponent. I’ve put together more wins than anybody. I’ve looked a lot more impressive my last couple of fights. I think I definitely deserve a title shot with Gil.”
If Strikeforce makes the fight, Melendez will be a clear favorite. Of course, the underdog role won’t be anything new for Healy.
“I think that’s the perfect story of my career,” he said. “I’ve felt like very rarely have I ever had people believing in me, or even when I got into Strikeforce, there’s very few fights where I’ve been the favorite in. I’m always the underdog. I’m always the guy they’re counting out. … I think that’s just the story of my career. It doesn’t really bother me what people think. I’ve always believed in myself, and that’s what you’ve got to do: believe in yourself.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:34:14).