SACRAMENTO – Bobby Green flirted with danger all fight against Pat Healy, but he never quite let Healy get the upper hand.
Green, fighting for the second time in a little more than a month, frequently dropped his hands and waved Healy on, asking him to swing away. And swing away Healy did, just to no ultimate avail. Green took home a unanimous decision in a fight that saw both competitors land their fair share of punches.
The lightweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 9 event at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following an additional prelim on MMAjunkie and ahead of the main card on FOX.
Green took the center of the cage quickly, and nearly a minute in he landed a takedown to put Healy on notice. Green kept his hands down and fired off quick punches and danced to from side to side, shaking his head at Healy. Healy landed to the body, but Green countered with a left. Healy looked for a takedown midway through, but Green was able to stay out of danger and back on his feet. When Healy looked to put a combination together, Green waved him forward, then fired off stiff jabs. They flurried late in the round, but though Healy landed his fair share of punches, it was Green landing stiffer shots.
Healy gave chase in the second, trying to put punches on Green. And he found some success. But by and large, Green let them glance off and hit Healy with counters. When Healy tried to tie him up, Green backed out. But midway through the round, he scooped Green up and took him to the ground for the first time – putting him in his ground-and-pound world. But Green worked back to his feet and continued to bloody his opponent up with a left hand as Healy’s face started to swell.
In the third, the two continued to swing away. Healy was relentless coming forward, bloodied up. And with two minutes left, he was able to get another takedown. He tried to soften Green up with ground-and-pound, but Green shrugged him off and pushed Healy to the cage. Green landed a takedown late in the fight that may have sealed the deal – if not for Healy getting top position to land a few big shots in the last 10 seconds. That put at least a little question into what the decision might be.
“I leave it up to God – I don’t make fight plans,” Green said. “This crowd came to see someone swing, so I swung. I hope the fans enjoyed it. I wasn’t in as much trouble as it may have looked at the end of Round 3. He was trying to steal the round, and I took a few licks but nothing I had to worry about. After the last fight, I got so many texts and tweets saying I was a dirty fighter and that hurt. I always consider myself a man of honor, so I hope tonight’s fight was able to change people’s minds.”
But when the scores were read off, Green had a pair of 30-27s and a 29-28 – though the fans in Sacramento showered down on him with boos when the decision was announced.
Green (22-5 MMA, 3-0 UFC) won for the seventh straight time and stayed unbeaten in the UFC. Healy (31-17 MMA, 0-3 UFC) has dropped back-to-back fights and hasn’t win since a January decision over Kurt Holobaugh in Strikeforce’s final event.
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John Morgan and Steven Marrocco contributed to this report on-site in Sacramento.