Pat Healy - StrikeforceIt looked like 2012 was going to be the biggest year yet in the career of Pat “Bam Bam” Healy. Wins in five straight fights had him on the verge of a Strikeforce lightweight title shot, when things quickly fell apart.

Injuries to champ Gilbert Melendez lead to their September event being cancelled outright, and when a rescheduled fight for this January also dematerialized, Healy’s title hopes have been dashed.

“I can sum it up in one word: frustrating,” said Healy of the last several months.

“I worked really, really hard for that title shot and I felt I earned it the hard way by beating pretty much the guys who were coming up in Strikeforce and who were slated for title shots. It was really satisfying to do that, but to have things fall through twice was very disappointing.”

After things fell through with Melendez, Healy appeared to be on track to face former title contender Jorge Masvidal, but when that fight fell through, virtual unknown Kurt Holobaugh stepped in to accept the fight for this Saturday’s Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine event in Oklahoma City, Okla.

“With YouTube these days, I’ve seen all his fights, so I have a pretty good idea of what he’s going to try to do,” said Healy of Holobaugh. “I know some people that have trained with him, so I imagine they’re going to try to coach him on some things they think will be successful against me.

“Like any of my fights, I’m going to go in there and try to impose my will and not worry too much about what he’ll do. I’ll impose my will on him and make him fight my fight.”

With Strikeforce’s closure imminent, Healy was asked if this fight has any meaning or if it could impact his future with Zuffa and the UFC.

“I think it’s really a must-win for me,” said Healy. “I think my future kind of relies on it.

“I know they’ve given other people some guarantees, including the last four guys I’ve beat, with three coming directly off losses to me, but I’ve gotten no confirmation or guarantee what my future will hold, so I need to go out there and win.”

Having always been a fighter that’s had to work for everything he’s got, Healy doesn’t expect anything different as 2013 progresses.

“I really believe that I’m getting near the Top 10 lightweights in the world,” said Healy. “That’s my goal for 2013 is for me to break into that Top 10 and there be no doubt about it and be somebody that’s talked about in title contention.

“I don’t expect them to fast track me to anything. I plan on being in the UFC after this fight and I’m happy to start on the bottom and work my way up if necessary.”

Stay tuned to for all the latest Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine news and fight coverage.

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