While there is no shortage of compelling fights scheduled for this Saturday’s UFC 165 card in Toronto, one of the more interesting bouts will feature Pat Healy taking on Khabib Nurmagomedov. Not only is it an intriguing fight because both men are extremely talented fighters, but because it will mark the first time Healy will compete since UFC 159. As you likely recall, Healy buzzed the MMA world by submitting perennial contender Jim Miller that April 27th night, only to have the win overturned (and his “Submission of the Night award withdrawn) due to a positive test for marijuana. Although the Strikeforce vet impressed in the fight, and scored what was likely his biggest win to date, Healy lost the cash windfall and was suspended for six months.
Recently the rugged vet spoke to MMA Junkie.com about his lengthy career, the Miller fight, as well as failing his post-UFC 159 drug test. Here is some of what Healy had to say.
Testing positive for marijuana, losing that bonus, that win, it was just so disappointing. So, so disappointing. It was something that I didn’t think would be an issue at all. I was going to the mailbox every day looking for that check. It was a good lesson. You can’t play around in this business. You can’t break the rules and think you’re going to get away with it. Your career is a fragile thing.
The Jim Miller fight was great, but to me, nothing beats my win over Carlos Condit. There were maybe (1,000) or 2,000 people there in a 15,000-seat arena. Not a great turnout. I think the show totally bombed, and I’ve actually never seen the tape. But it was a great, back-and-forth fight. I had him in trouble, then he had me. It was such a high pace – even now, Condit forces people to fight at such a high pace. I remember getting caught in a choke and then him letting go. I literally felt like I was going to pass out. I was so exhausted, I almost blacked out. It was crazy, just feeling that and getting the win and knowing you gave everything you had. It was a great moment for me.
It’s going to be fascinating to see whether Healy can become the first man to defeat Nurmagomedov, as well as how his grappling skills match up with the Russian, who is a former world Sambo champion.
UFC 165 will be hosted by Toronto’s Air Canada Centre and will feature light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones taking on Alexander Gustafsson in the main event.
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