In the early going, it appeared that Blanco would use his superior striking to cruise to an easy victory. He was battering Healy with punches, kicks and knees and confounding Healy with strikes coming from every angle. But the tide seemed to turn after Blanco committed a foul while both men were on the ground: Blanco landed several kicks to Healy's face on the ground -- which is against the rule in North American MMA, but legal in Japan, where Blanco had fought his entire career until Saturday -- and after Healy got some time to recover from that foul, he took control.
Healy worked over Blanco on the ground late in the first round, and in the second round Healy slammed Blanco to the ground and worked his way into a superior position, eventually wrapping his legs around one of Blanco's arms and sinking in a rear-naked choke.
The win improved Healy's record to 26-16, including 5-1 since moving down to lightweight last year. Blanco falls to 8-3-1.