Just two short years ago 30-year-old Lyle Beerbohm (9-0) was sitting in a Walla Walla State Prison cell. On June 19, 2009, Beerbohm, now a successful professional mixed martial artist will be fighting in front of millions of people on Showtime as he takes on Duane “Bang” Ludwig (18-8) at the Strikeforce Challengers event in Kent, Washington.
Beerbohm is proof people can change. The story goes that while serving an 18-month prison sentence, he saw an episode of The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV, “When I was sitting in prison and watching The Ultimate Fighter show I was like ‘Are you serious? Those guys are on TV, making money?’ I knew I could take those guys so, right then and there, I made up my mind and haven’t looked back since.”
On Beerbohm’s way home from prison he passed a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy and made his father stop the car. Beerbohm went inside, introduced himself to the owner, and explained his intentions. Eight days following his first lesson, Beerbohm made his MMA amateur debut. He went 12-0 in nine months as an amateur and then turned pro.
Lyle Beerbohm is now 9-0 as a professional. He has finished all but one of his opponents. With four wins by submission, four wins by TKO, and one unanimous decision, he has transformed himself in to a well-rounded highly skilled mixed martial artist.
He has come a long way since his days as a meth addict. Lyle talked about what it took to change his life, “I traded one addiction for another. I had put all my time and focus into that drug, unfortunately, so I needed something else to put my time and effort into and that’s why I’ve done what I have so far in MMA.”
Lyle has fought some tough guys in organizations such as King of the Cage, Strikeforce, and EliteXC, but there is no doubt Duane Ludwig is going to be his toughest test to date, “This is the biggest fight of my life. Once I beat him, I’ll be a superstar – where I need to be. I have full confidence that I will win this fight.”
Beerbohm is not intimidated by Ludwig who has the second fastest knockout in UFC history, an 11-second stoppage of Jonathan Goulet back in 2006, “His stand up (skills) is pretty good, but my style is breaking people. The way I pace myself, people can’t handle it. I’ll break him by the third round. If he gets to the third round, he’s not going to get out of the third round. When you see me get in the cage with Ludwig, I will be a different fighter and a step above where I was from my last appearance. I’m a brand new fighter and can’t wait to show the world.”
Beerbohm trains at the Spokane based Sik Jitsu club. They do not have a trainer there, only training partners. Beerbohm has trained at some prominent academies but prefers the Sik Jitsu club, “(The other camps) are pretty good, but we’ve got the best thing in Spokane. When I was at other camps, I wasn’t in charge. In Spokane, I’m in charge. The guys do what I want to do and that’s the way I want it.”
Duane Ludwig has won his last two bouts with his most recent win coming against Yves Edwards (34-15-1) in a unanimous decision victory last November at “Strikeforce: Destruction.”
Other fights confirmed for Friday’s Strikeforce Challengers card which will air live on Showtime at 11 p.m. ET/PT from the Showare Center include:
- (Main Event) “Smokin” Joey Villasenor (26-6) vs. Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos (16-12) at middleweight
- Tim Kennedy (9-2) vs. Nick “The Goat” Thompson (38-10-1) at middleweight
- Cory “The One” Devela (9-2) vs. Luke Rockhold (4-1) at middleweight
- Jorge Gurgel (12-5) vs. Conor “Hurricane” Heun (8-2) at lightweight
- Dennis “Superman” Hallman (40-12-2) vs. Cedric Marks (26-18) at welterweight
- Sarah Kaufman (9-0) vs. Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler (11-5)
By: Jack Bratcher