Late replacement Pat Healy pulled off something of an upset to kick off the main card, spoiling Maximo Blanco’s Strikeforce debut.
Blanco’s fast, dynamic striking abilities were on display early in the fight, throwing a plethora of kicks and punches at Healy while also showing good head movement which ensured he wasn’t taking too much in return.
The Venazuelan is also a good wrestler though and when a couple of kicks dropped Healy he was happy to follow him to the mat. The two ended up in almost a north-south position with Blanco on top and Healy working a foot hold. In an attempt to escape Blanco starts hitting Healy in the face with his foot illegally.
There was a long stoppage while Healy, who was now bleeding, is checked out but he’s ok to continue and Blanco has a point deducted.
After the restart Healy managed to close the distance and secured a takedown, working ground and pound until the bell.
In the second round Blanco continued to prove to be both dangerous and elusive on his feet, but Healy was finding success with his takedowns.
The first of these resulted in him taking Blanco’s back, but he couldn’t sink in the rear-naked choke and his opponent was able to turn out from it and get back to his feet.
Another takedown from Healy follows, but again Blanco is back to his feet quickly. Healy is onto something here though and so he persists, trying to get him back down to the canvas.
Blanco tries to roll out but ends up in a bad spot with Healy once again on his back and this time he gets the choke in deeper and forces the tap with 4.24mins of the round gone.