Size, experience and rugged determination carried Pat Healy.
A 27-year-old UFC veteran, Healy banked a unanimous decision against the previously unbeaten Lyle Beerbohm in the Strikeforce “Challengers 14” main event on Friday at the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas. All three cage-side judges scored it 29-28 for Healy, a Team Quest representative who has won four of his last five fights.
Beerbohm controlled the pace for much of the bout, relentless in pressing and smothering his seasoned opponent against the cage. However, he ran out of steam against Healy, a former welterweight, as the two men dug in their heels against one another. Healy delivered the more effective strikes standing, weathered Beerbohm’s scramble-heavy onslaught and nearly secured submissions in the second and third rounds.
“I think I outworked him, outhustled him and won the exchanges on the feet,” Healy said. “That’s where I took it.”
In defeat, Beerbohm did nothing to lower his stock in the 155-pound division. Undefeated in his first 15 professional appearances, he stayed in Healy’s face in the clinch and on the ground throughout their entertaining 15-minute encounter. Healy closed strong, as he scored with a takedown, seized partial back control, trapped Beerbohm’s arm and threatened with a rear-naked choke in the third round. Beerbohm escaped but appeared visibly winded when the two lightweights returned to an upright position. There, Healy scored with punches and stuffed a late takedown attempt, perhaps swaying the verdict in his favor.
“I’d really like that fight,” he said. “They both beat my brother. Being a proud Irishman, I want that revenge for the family.”
Prater Stops Travers in 38 Seconds
After a brief standing exchange, Prater put Travers on his back with a nifty inside trip. He locked on the choke during the ensuing scramble, tied up Travers’ leg and waited for the American Kickboxing Academy product to black out. A little more than half a minute after it began, their encounter was over.
The victory snapped a two-fight losing streak for Prater, who shed tears afterward. “No one likes to lose, and my record alone says I’m not a perfect fighter,” he said. “We’re up. We’re down. We lose our job. We’ve got to get up and look for another one. It’s been a hard couple of years. I don’t know what tomorrow brings for me.”
Strikeforce – Challengers 14
Austin, Texas, United States
|1||Drew Pendleton||Dennis Dombrow||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||2||2:38|
|2||Aaron Lanfranco||Ousmane Thomas Diagne||KO (Punches)||1||4:22|
|3||David Douglas||Nick Gonzalez||Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)||1||1:05|
|4||Ryan Larson||Erik Apple||Submission (Triangle Choke)||2||3:14|
|5||Ryan Couture||Lee Higgins||Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)||3||4:41|
|6||Carlo Prater||Bryan Travers||Technical Submission (Anaconda Choke)||1||0:38|
|7||Pat Healy||Lyle Beerbohm||Decision (Unanimous)||3||5:00|
Couture Scores Late Submission
Couture put Higgins away.
Couture, the son of UFC hall of famer Randy Couture, took a third-round submission from the game but overmatched Higgins in a featured lightweight duel. A rear-naked choke brought it to a close with only 19 seconds remaining in the third round.
The 28-year-old Couture controlled the fight in all phases with superior technique, as he switched between orthodox and southpaw stances and scored effectively with jabs, counter right hands and kicks to the body and legs. Couture nearly stopped Higgins in the waning moments of round one, first with a guillotine and then a brabo choke. Higgins survived, only to be punished further in the second round,
where Couture floored him with a crisp right hand.
Couture struck with a trip takedown with roughly two minutes to go in round three, moved to back control and went to work on the rear-naked choke. Higgins fought until the end, forcing Couture to readjust the hold several times. Ultimately, Couture found the right combination and coaxed the tapout.
“He was hand-fighting me like crazy,” he said. “He wore out both my forearms.”
Anchored at his father’s renowned Las Vegas gym, Couture has won each of his first two professional bouts by submission.
“I just want to continue to get more comfortable out there,” he said. “Getting almost 15 minutes in here was a big help.”
Larson Dominates, Finishes Apple
King of Kombat alum Ryan Larson dazzled in his promotional debut, as he submitted Erik Apple with a second-round triangle choke in a one-sided welterweight showcase. Apple tapped out 3:14 into round two.
Larson delivered takedowns in both rounds and ran a grappling clinic on Apple once the fight hit the ground. He held a topside crucifix position for much of the first round, twice threatening with kimuras from the top. Apple’s luck did not improve in the second. After another takedown, Larson moved to mount, forced his foe to surrender his back and locked in a body triangle. Heavy blows fell on Apple, as Larson deftly locked in the triangle from the top and took the submission.
Douglas Chokes Out ‘The Ghost’
Surging Cesar Gracie protégé David Douglas needed a little more than a minute to post his sixth victory in seven appearances, as he choked Nick Gonzalez unconscious with a first-round rear-naked choke in their featured catchweight match at 150 pounds. The finish came 65 seconds into round one.
Entering the cage with an enormous height, reach and strength advantage, Douglas swarmed his foe at the start and sent him to the canvas with an overhand right. Ground-and-pound followed, and Gonzalez ultimately surrendered his back. The choke came next, as Douglas snaked his muscular arms around the neck. Soon after, Gonzalez went limp.
“I’m ready to take on anybody,” Douglas said. “They know what’s coming. When I’m healthy and everything, nobody can beat me.”
by Strikeforce | February 19, 2011
RYAN COUTURE IMPROVES TO 2-0; PRATER, LARSON, TARZAN ALSO TRIUMPHANT
Friday, Feb. 18, Live on SHOWTIME® From Cedar Park Center, Cedar Park, Texas,
Catch Replay on Tuesday, Feb. 22, on SHO EXTREME at 10 p.m. ET/PT
CEDAR PARK, Texas (Feb. 19, 2011) – In a hotly contested fight, Pat “Bam Bam’’ Healy of Portland, Ore., registered a razor-thin, unanimous three-round decision over previously unbeatenLyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm of Spokane, Wash., in the main event Friday onSTRIKEFORCE Challengers at Cedar Park Center live on SHOWTIME®.
In other results on the televised portion of a STRIKEFORCE Challengers event presented byRockstar Energy Drink: Carlo “Neo’’ Prater (26-10-1), of Houston, Texas, submitted Bryan Travers (14-3), of San Jose, Calif., with an anaconda choke at 38 seconds in the first round in a catchweight bout at 160 pounds, unbeaten lightweight Ryan Couture (2-0), of Las Vegas, the son of MMA legend Randy Couture, submitted (rear-naked choke) Houston’s Lee Higgins (2-1) at 4:41 in the third round; local favorite Ryan Larson (6-2), of Albuquerque, N.M., submitted (triangle choke) Erik Apple (10-3), of Orange County, Calif., at 3:14 of the second round in a welterweight (170 pounds) skirmish and David “Tarzan’’ Douglas (7-2) of Antioch, Calif., submitted (rear-naked choke) Austin fan favorite Nick “The Ghost’’ Gonzalez (16-9, 1 NC) at 1:05 in the first round.
The victorious Healy (25-18) won by the scores of 29-28 on the three judges’ scorecards while Beerbohm dropped to 15-1.
“He talked a lot of trash, but if he wants a rematch, I’ll give him one anytime,’’ said Healy, who pushed former STRIKEFORCE World Lightweight Champion Josh Thomson to the brink before losing his last start on June 26, 2010, on SHOWTIME.
“Beerbohm fought a good fight but I think I outworked and outhustled him. I’d like to fight the winner of the March 5 fight between Billy Evangelista and Jorge Masvidal.’’
A member of Team Quest, Healy has won four of his last five fights and seven of nine. In a 10-year career, he’s defeated several big-name, quality opponents including Paul “Semtex’’ Daley, Carlos Condit and Dan Hardy.
Beerbohm, who not only suffered his first pro defeat but first ever in Mixed Martial Arts – he was 8-0 as an amateur — felt he’d done enough to get his hand raised.
“I definitely thought I won,’’ he said. “I thought going into the third we’d each won a round, but I definitely thought I won that last round. I took the fight to him from the start. But that’s what happens when you let it go to the hands of the judges.’’
The quick victory ended a two-fight losing streak for Prater, who’d also dropped four out of five. He used his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to take down Travers, and moments later it was over.
“My record shows I’m not a perfect fighter, but when you’re down you get up,’’ Prater said. “This was a good win, I’ll get better off this fight, but I’ll be right back in the gym soon.’’
Travers had won seven of eight going in. A six-fight winning streak was snapped when he lost a decision to Healy on STRIKEFORCE Challengers on May 21, 2010, in Portland, Ore., on SHOWTIME.
Couture, who turned pro for STRIKEFORCE on Aug. 13, 2010, is one of the most promising prospects in MMA, but he had to work to get the victory against a game Higgins.
“It felt good to be in there,’’ Couture said, “but the guy was tough as nails. I’m real glad I was able to get him there at the end. For the most part I was happy with my standup and getting almost 15 minutes in there was good.’’
In a battle of wrestlers, the well-conditioned Larson controlled the action from the outset against Apple, who was competing for the first time since Nov. 20, 2009.
“I think the key was to come out fast and dictate the pace,’’ said Larson, a member of Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Austin. “It’s like a dream come true to fight for STRIKEFORCE and to win in my hometown.’’
Tarzan, a member of Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, dominated en route to winning his seventh fight inside the distance. The Ghostbuster, Douglas was the aggressor from the outset. He dropped Gonzalez with an overhand right followed by a left hook at about the 0:35 mark. He continued the punishment until the referee stopped matters.
“I wanted to show my Jiu-Jitsu skills,’’ said Douglas after outclassing the more experienced, local fan favorite. “Everyone says they never see my Jiu-Jitsu so I wanted to showcase them to the crowd. I do what they tell me. I’ll fight anybody. I feel most comfortable at 155 pounds. When I’m healthy, no one can beat me.’’
In Friday’s non-televised bouts, Aaron Lan Franco (2-0), of Austin, TKO 1 (punches, 4:22) overThomas Diagne (1-3), of San Jose, at 155 pounds and in an all-Austin affair, Drew Pendleton(3-0) submitted (guillotine choke) Dennis Dombrow (2-1) at 2:38 of the second round at 145 pounds.
Friday’s event will re-air as follows:
Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 10 p.m. ET/PT SHO EXTREME
The telecast also will be available On Demand beginning Monday, Feb. 21, and running through March 6.
Mauro Ranallo called the action on SHOWTIME with The Fight Professor, Stephen Quadros, and MMA legend Pat Miletich serving as expert analysts.
Upcoming STRIKEFORCE Event on SHOWTIME: Saturday, March 5, World Championship Doubleheader – Dan Henderson (26-8) challenges defending champion Rafael “Feijao’’ Cavalcante (10-2) for the STRIKEFORCE World Light Heavyweight (205 pounds) Championship at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast). In a second world title fight, Marloes “Rumina’’ Coenen (18-4) risks her STRIKEFORCE lightweight title for a first time against No. 1-ranked 135-pound contender, Miesha “Takedown’’ Tate (11-2), of Tacoma, Wash. Also, American military hero Tim Kennedy (12-3) vs. Melvin “No Mercy’’ Manhoef (24-8-1), middleweights; and undefeated Billy Evangelista (11-0) vs. Jorge Masvidal (20-6), lightweights. The event, STRIKEFORCE’s first in the state of Ohio, will take place in conjunction with The Arnold Sports Festival, the nation’s largest health and fitness exposition founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For more information on SHOWTIME Sports, including exclusive video, photos and news links on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and STRIKEFORCE mixed martial arts telecasts, along with access to the SHOWTIME Sports Facebook® and Twitter® pages, please go tohttp://Sports.Sho.com.