Cagewriter - Mixed Martial Arts

When two fighters grapple for nearly 15 minutes, it's not often a crowd refrains from booing, but even the most novice group of MMA fans could appreciate the non-stop battle between Pat Healy and Lyle Beerbohm. After dozens of transitions, lots of takedowns and several submission attempts, Healy got the nod on all three cards, 29-28, for a unanimous decision victory in the main event of Strikeforce Challengers 14 in Cedar Park, Tx.

It was Beerbohm's first loss after starting 16-0, but it was nothing to be embarrassed about. Healy was just a little bigger and had more gas in the tank in the final round.

"If they want a rematch ... anytime," Healy (26-17) said. "I think I outworked him. I won the exchange on the feet and I had a couple of real close submissions."

Keep in mind earlier in the evening, the same crowd actually booed some lackluster standup just 55 seconds into the Ryan Couture-Lee Higgins fight. In the final fight of the night, they enjoyed the technique, fortitude and stamina shown by Healy and Beerbohm as did Showtime's broadcast team of Mauro Ranallo, Pat Miletich and Stephen Quadros who were howling in approval late in third round.

That was the round that sealed the fight for Healy. Healy scored a takedown with 3:25 left and got Beerbohm's back where he was able to lock on a tight rear-naked choke. It was a rare moment in the fight, where the Energizer bunny Beerbohm actually stopped moving for a while.

The 31-year-old former drug addict and dealer was able to turn into Healy and free himself from danger. Beerbohm scored his own takedown with just over two minutes left in the fight but could never get Healy, a former wrestler at Southern Illinois, settled. The fighters traded dominant position over the final 100 seconds of the fight before a short stand up exchange to close it out. 

Healy said he'd like to face the winner of the Billy Evangelista-Jorge Masvidal fight. That one goes down on Mar. 5 in Columbus, Oh. Evangelista holds a win over Healy's twin brother Ryan.

Healy credited his work with B.J. Penn and his camp in Hawaii for some of his nifty transitions and submission attempts. He was very dangerous in the second round.

In that round, Beerbohm kept pushing the fight to the cage and working for double-leg takedowns. On three occasions, Healy was able to push his head down and drop to the ground with inverted triangles. Beerbohm was actually in big trouble in one of those inverted triangles when Healy had him in a key lock. Beerbohm is resilient though and freed himself.

Healy, 27, is an interesting case. His record looks very pedestrian, but it includes losses to the likes of Jake Ellenberger, Rory Markham, Carlo Prater, Jay Hieron, Chris Wilson, Chris Lytle, Dave Strasser, Chris Leben, Brad Blackburn and Denis Kang. He said he needed the money in the past and took a lot of fights on short notice. He's also at the perfect weight now. He's a huge welterweight. He took a big step up last time out and nearly pulled the upset on former Strikeforce welterweight champ Josh Thomson.

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