When you get so close to achieving your dream and then have it taken away from you, it is hard to not be frustrated. But when it keeps happening, then you start to question what is really happening. Welcome to Pat Healy's world the last six months.
Healy was originally supposed to face Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez Saturday night, but Melendez had to bow out of the fight due to a shoulder injury. Healy will now be facing off with Kurt Holobaugh headlining the preliminary portion of the final Strikeforce show.
"Bam Bam" was supposed to face Melendez on the September and November Strikeforce events, but the shoulder prevented the champion from competing. The January card was announced with Healy facing Melendez again in the headlining position. After Melendez bowed out of the fight again, Healy started to question whether Melendez was really that injured and was waiting to fight in the UFC.
"This time (Melendez bowing out of the fight) was way more different because they (Strikeforce) announced this was pretty much the last Strikeforce show," Healy told Bleacher Report. "He (Melendez) knew he was going to the UFC, so when he pulled out of the fight this time, I felt a bit different about it. I think he made a business decision. I don't think he was really that hurt. It was a lot more frustrating and irritating this time."
After Melendez had to bow out of the fight, Strikeforce then paired Healy with Jorge Masvidal. Then it was announced about two weeks ago that Masvidal was injured and wouldn't be able to fight. Healy was once again without an opponent until it was announced he would be Holobaugh about 10 days ago. The Strikeforce veteran was still more than happy to fight on Saturday's card, but just wanted to be assured he would have a spot in the UFC.
"I'm happy to fight, but all I really asked for was to give me a guarantee of my future," Healy stated. "Everybody is telling me, "Hey it is a win or lose for everybody on this card. You win, you go to the UFC. You lose, your cut."
"I just wanted to hear like, "Hey your cool Pat, you've done a lot for us, you fought your heart out for us everytime you stepped in (the cage). You've got a job at the end of this, no matter what".
"I could not get that (guarantee of a UFC fight). I tried for weeks to get that and they (Zuffa) would not give that to me."
Healy is on a five fight winning streak heading into Saturday night and is frustrated that the last four fighters he has beaten are already in the UFC. The Missouri native knows he belongs in the biggest MMA organization in the world.
"It's pretty frustrating," Healy stated. "The last four guys I've beaten are in the UFC now. Three of them in this Strikeforce deal are directly coming off losses to me. I think I deserve to be in there. I know I deserve to be in there."
Unless otherwise stated, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
You can listen to the complete interview with Pat Healy here.
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