One of the most interesting battles between UFC and Strikeforce veterans so far occurred at UFC 159, as Strikeforce's last lightweight contender, Pat Healy, took on omnipresent UFC Top-10 lightweight, Jim Miller.
Pat Healy is one of the biggest, strongest lightweights in the sport these days and was a dangerous opponent for Gilbert Melendez before Strikeforce's dissolution. Jim Miller, meanwhile, has been a top lightweight in the UFC for years and owns an impressive 11-3 record in the promotion. He most recently beat Joe Lauzon.
After a technical match between two savvy MMA veterans, we saw an awesome finish from Pat Healy. So what did we learn from this fight?
Pat Healy Is Really Good
It's become common knowledge now that Strikeforce fighters are no slouches. Pat Healy, though, was sort of forgotten amidst the hype of Gilbert Melendez, the rise of Tyron Woodley and the resurgence of Robbie Lawler.
With this fight, Healy let everyone know that he is among the best in the lightweight division. Again.
Not to say “I told you so,” but I did. In fact, I stated Pat Healy should be regarded as the eighth-best lightweight as of January. On Saturday night, he showed that he deserves that praise and is likely to enter the Top Five in the UFC's official rankings.
Strikeforce Fighters Are Officially as Good as UFC Fighters
Six months ago, it was impossible to say that some Strikeforce fighter was good without getting a grumpy comment that “he hasn't beaten any UFC-level competition." As Strikeforce fighters started debuting in the UFC, however, they started to show that they were pretty good after all.
Still, a fight like Jay Hieron vs. Tyron Woodley was not a real “UFC fighter vs. Strikeforce fighter” matchup. On the other hand, Healy vs. Miller was a bout between two fighters among the best in either organization. Healy came out the victor and showed that the best in Strikeforce are as good as the best in the UFC.
Healy should get his title fight.
Jim Miller Is a Little Bit Questionable Against Top Fighters
Jim Miller has rolled over lots and lots of fighters over the years with his grinding style. Still, the list of people he has lost to is much more impressive than those he has beaten.
He started his UFC career 9-1 but has gone 2-3 since. In his five most recent fights, he was dominated by Benson Henderson, submitted by Nate Diaz and beaten by Pat Healy. In between those fights were a stoppage victory over Melvin Guillard and a strong showing against Joe Lauzon.
It's hard to say it, but it's possible that Miller may end up as the lightweight division's gatekeeper.
Bruce Buffer Can Make Mistakes, Too!
Seriously? How silly was that?