Who wears day-glo, striped, multi-colored shorts to an MMA match? Who has their mom actually hand craft them for him? Who actually goes into a fight after being introduced as “Fancy Pants”? Who did a year and a day in a Washington State Penitentiary for felonies related to a meth addiction, got released from that prison and won his first amateur fight just 8 days later?
The answer to all these questions is Lyle Beerbohm, one of the most interesting stories in all of sports, including MMA.
Beerbohm will turn 32 in February, but MMA gave him new life just a few years ago. He literally began his pro career after serving 366 days at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla due to felony convictions, all related to a 6-year crystal meth addiction. The day he was freed from prison, he visited a Jiu-Jitsu gym. He had his first amateur fight just eight days after being released.
Since entering MMA, Beerbohm has found a discipline and determination that was missing in his life. “If I didn’t go to prison, I probably would be dead today,” he said. “Because I wouldn’t get cleaned up. I wouldn’t go to rehab. I wouldn’t get off the drugs. I didn’t want to get off the drugs. (Finally) I traded one addiction for the other. I traded meth for MMA.”
He sure did. Beerbohm has ran his record to an astounding 15-0 as a pro, and his next fight scheduled for Strikeforce is against dangerous veteran Pat “Bam Bam’’ Healy in the main event of a Strikeforce Challengers Mixed Martial Arts fight card on Friday, Feb. 18, live on Showtime. If he beats Healy it will get him very close to a shot at the title against world champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez.
A top wrestler in high school, Beerbohm is a brawler who can switch between southpaw and orthodox stances. He went 12-0 in the amateurs, in spite of the obstacles he had to overcome. Although the vast majority of his fights have ended early and he’s recorded more KO’s than submissions, he still considers himself a grappler.
Beerbohm got his “Fancy Pants” nickname from the custom-made, multi-colored trunks sewn by his mother. Maybe they serve to distract his opponents. He owns wins over former world Muay Thai champion and Strikeforce and UFC veteran Duane “Bang’’ Ludwig as well as UFC vet Rafaello Oliveira. Beerbohm submitted (bulldog choke) Ludwig in the first round of a non-televised fight at a Strikeforce Challengers event on June 19, 2009.
“I want to fight the best, I want to fight for the Strikeforce title,’’ said Beerbohm, the head of Washington’s Fancy Pants Fight Team. “All I can do is continue to work hard and beat who they put in front of me. This is going to be a very difficult fight for both of us, but I’m confident of winning and moving up the ranks.
“I am very anxious to fight on Showtime and show the fans and Strikeforce what I can do. My goal is to fight for the world title. I want to be the champ. I want a five-round fight. That would be something else.’’Tweet
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