Ten-year MMA veteran Pat “Bam Bam” Healy is expected to take the place of an injured Josh Thomson to face Maximo Blanco on Strikeforce’s Sept. 10 card at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
News of a foot injury which forced former Strikeforce lightweight champ Thomson to withdraw from the bout circulated on Aug. 23, leaving Blanco without an opponent for his highly anticipated stateside debut. Though no official announcement has been made regarding a replacement, sources close to the bout confirmed Monday to Sherdog.com that Healy (25-16) has agreed to face the Venezuelan import.
A former welterweight titleholder in Canada’s Maximum Fighting Championship, Healy has since dropped to lightweight, winning his last four of five fights in the division. His sole loss at 155 pounds came in June 2010 at the hands of Thomson, who submitted Healy with a rear-naked choke in the final minute of their bout.
Healy rebounded in February with a unanimous decision victory over Lyle Beerbohm in the main event of Strikeforce Challengers 14, handing “Fancy Pants” his first career loss.
Sherdog.com first broke news of Blanco inking a three fight deal with Strikeforce in May. Since the signing and subsequent pairing with Thomson, the 2007 Pan American Games wrestling bronze medalist has relocated from Japan to New Mexico in order to train at the Tapout Ranch and Jackson’s MMA for his stateside debut.
A former lightweight King of Pancrase and Sengoku fan favorite, Blanco will enter the Strikeforce cage on a six-fight winning streak. His last action saw Blanco take a unanimous decision over Won Sik “Parky” Park in Sengoku’s last event, Dec. 30’s “Soul of Fight.”