As with any successful professional, mixed martial artists eat, sleep and breathe their craft. They put everything on the line when they wake up, hit the gym and pour their blood, sweat and tears into the sport we all love. When they enter that cage, for the fan, it's all about the entertainment, but these athletes go through the daily rigors with more in mind. For some fighters, it's a paycheck. For others, it's the glitz and glamour, but for some it's a lifestyle fueled by a deep passion and connection to the sport of mixed martial arts.
In our newest site feature, MMAPlayground would like to introduce you to some of these men and women of MMA that you may not know much about.
Our mission? To introduce. To educate. To spread the word.In the first installment, we had the opportunity to ask Pat "Bam Bam" Healy a few questions, fresh off of his submission victory over Maximo Blanco at Strikeforce World Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov
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First off, Pat, congratulations on your recent submission win over Maximo Blanco this past weekend. You took the fight on short notice and ended up choking out a highly touted prospect from Venezuela. Where did you train and what are some of the names you trained with for this fight? PAT HEALY:
I trained at Team Quest in Gresham, Oregon. That's my home team and it's really like my family. I also trained at Nemesis BJJ with Eric Hemphill, who is helping me put the technical pieces of my game together. I am lucky to have a lot of great people around me.MMAPG:
Can you give our readers, who may not know much about you, a little insight into your background? Where exactly did you grow up and how did you get into MMA?PAT HEALY:
I grew up in Salem, Oregon and I was lucky enough to have a twin brother who I grew up fighting with. We have been into MMA since we were about 14 years old and it is all we have ever wanted to do. MMA has taken me all across the US to live and train and has provided an incredible life for me. I have had my fair share of ups and downs and I have fought for every major organization out there. I am still young, at 28, contrary to popular belief. I'm not an old man!MMAPG:
What drives you the most to succeed? What inspires you?PAT HEALY:
What drives me is the love of the sport. It wakes me up early every morning with a smile on my face and an optimistic mindset. I truly love everyday that I get to wake up and do what I love for a living.MMAPG:
I must admit, “Bam Bam” is quite possibly my favorite nickname in all of MMA. Who gave you that nickname?PAT HEALY:
I got that nickname growing up in Salem. My friends used to say that after a few drinks my eyebrows would sag and my alter ego, "Bam Bam", would come out. I would become extremely clumsy and would always end up breaking something or falling into/out of something. The nickname just stuck through the years and I think it fits my fighting style quite nice.MMAPG:
How much down time do you actually have between training camps for your fights and what do you do during that time off from the gym?PAT HEALY:
I never take time off. Even if I don't have a fight coming up I'm in the gym working something or grappling with the Gi. I spend my spare time on my property in Eagle Creek, Oregon. I live on 150 acres of Oregon forest and river habitat. All I like to do is hike, hunt and train my bird dog, Finnigan.MMAPG:
Which win on your resume would you consider to be the most satisfying?PAT HEALY:
I think this latest win against Maximo Blanco is the most satisfying. I took it on short notice and he was a hyped prospect. Not a lot of people expected me to win, especially finish him.MMAPG:
If you could only pick one loss to avenge, which loss would that be and why?PAT HEALY:
I want to avenge my loss to Josh Thomson because it was my only loss at 155.MMAPG:
What is your stance on teammates fighting each other?PAT HEALY:
I think there are plenty of people out there to fight besides your teammates but I think it's different when you're talking about people like the guys at Jackson's camp. They aren't really teammates they are just guys who sometimes train together.MMAPG:
When it’s all said and done, what do you want your legacy to be? What do you want people to think of when they hear the name, Pat “Bam Bam” Healy?PAT HEALY:
I want people to look back at me as a champion. I hope that people can take inspiration from my ups and downs in the sport and the fact that I haven't quit and persevered through a lot.MMAPG:
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, Pat. Again, congratulations to you on your performance against Maximo Blanco. MMA fans everywhere, myself included, look forward to seeing you fight again! Take care!
* * * * *Follow @BamBamHealy on Twitter Pat "Bam Bam" Healy on Sherdog.com DISCLAIMER: Views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewer and interviewee and are not necessarily those of the staff or affiliates of MMAPlayground.com.