Shine Fights Spotlight: Matt Lindland Says Ryan Healy Ready To Go

July 3, 2009

Matt Lindland Says The New “Law” Is To Follow Shine Fights

By Rhett Butler

As one of the pioneers of MMA, Matt “The Law” Lindland knows this business and when he speaks you should listen. So when he allows one of his prized pupils to be a part of the newest organization producing real world-class cards it’s a silent statement. With Ryan Healy of the famed Team Quest agreeing to fight Brazilian Top Team’s Fabiano Capoani, Lindland looks forward to the business possibilities with Shine Fights.

“Shine’s certainly been able to get great fighters and put together great fights. Their matchmaking is phenomenal for the level of show it is,” says Lindland. “These guys are all quality athletes that they’ve got and I don’t really see anybody else that’s a grassroots kind of promotion putting together these kind of cards. I’m actually a little surprised that at the quality of each one of these fighters on this card.”

As co-owner of Team Quest (along with for PRIDE Middleweight Champion Dan Henderson), Lindand began working with Shine Fights when his fighter, Ryan Healy was added to the Shine 2: American Top Team vs. The World card. As one half of the Healy fighting brother duo along with Pat Healy (20-13-0), Ryan Healy is coming off three recent losses looking for redemption.

“Ryan is a very tough guy and he’s a great fighter. He took a couple fights on short notice at 170lbs and he’s coming off a couple losses just because he wasn’t able to peak and prepare, he took fights on two days notice kind of thing; up a weight class. He’s not a welterweight he’s a lightweight fighter and I think this is an opportunity where he’s had ample time to prepare for the fight and its in his weight class.”

With three straight losses, all via unanimous decision, Healy shows he has what it takes to go the distance in a fight. The last loss against now WEC fighter, Jameel Massouh in October 2008 was Healy’s last appearance in the cage. After a 9-month layoff the bout against Luiz Firmino marks Healy’s return. Lindland explains the lengthy layoff.

“There was an injury where he hurt his knee and then basically his fights fell apart. Promoters were getting ready to do shows and they didn’t sell enough tickets and so they cancelled events and we just had some bad luck with promotions.”

COMPETITION LIVES

Luiz Firmino (12-4-0) is a submission specialist with 6 of his 12 wins coming by the sweet art. With another 5 wins, mostly coming by unanimous decision, and 1 TKO, Firmino is the real deal. As with Healy, Firmino’s last professional appearance in MMA also resulted in a loss back in May 2008 at a DREAM event in Japan. With an even longer layoff after a loss than Healy, Firmino is also in a state of redemption. A sure fire way to insure a blockbuster battle? Or is this a day of reckoning for one of these two fighters? Lindland advocates Healy and says that one merely needs to look at his conditioning and heart to see why.

“He works a full-time job and comes in, never misses a team practice and then he give some extra workouts after that. Right now where he’s at with his career he’s not making a ton of money with these fights so you got to make some sacrifices,” says Lindland. If he’s willing to do that, whatever it takes to get in the gym, whether its working nights or working the weekends he’s more concerned about getting to the gym no matter what. You’ve got to respect a guy like that.”

Looking back, Lindland also points to strengths recognized and weaknesses realized through Healy’s past.

“He was a national NCAA champion in boxing so obviously his hands are great. He’s working out with quality wrestlers day in and day out. I think maybe that was one of his weaknesses the wrestling aspect, taking the guys down; he doesn’t want to really take those guys down. But the biggest problem he had was getting taken down and I think he solved a lot of those problems just being with us at Team Quest. The guys got incredible work ethic.”

Going further, Lindland spoke about his team’s outlook and himself alluding to a very bright future.

“Well of course we’ve got some of the bigger names. You see Dan Henderson he was on The Ultimate Fighter as a coach and he’s got a big fight coming up at UFC 100. We’ve got other guys like Chael Sonnen and Ed Herman that are fighting in the UFC as well but we’ve also got a lot of up and coming talent. As far as me I can’t really discuss that right at the moment because nothings signed but you’ll certainly see me back in the cage soon. I will be competing on the stage as I should be, fighting some of the top guys in the world.”

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