Two years ago, Lyle Beerbohm was sitting in a prison cell, serving an 18 month sentence. A crystal meth addict, he had stolen from his loved ones and committed multiple felonies during a dreadful, downward spiral.
On June 19, the reborn 30-year-old native of Spokane, Washington will attempt to continue his miraculous and inspiring transformation into an undefeated athlete in the world’s fastest growing sport – mixed martial arts (MMA).
“This is the biggest fight of my life,” said Beerbohm (9-0), who will face his most difficult test to date in the cage when he squares off with seasoned knockout artist, Duane “Bang” Ludwig (18-8) in a lightweight (155 pound) matchup during the Strikeforce Challengers MMA event at Kent, Washington’s brand new ShoWare Center on Friday, June 19. “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 enjoyed a stint in high school wrestling and claims to have been unbeaten over the course of numerous street fights as well as three scuffles in Walla Walla state prison, but it was only after he tuned into The Ultimate Fighter, Spike TV’s smash-hit MMA reality series, that he decided he would make combat his livelihood and his path to redemption.
“When I was sitting in prison and watching The Ultimate Fighter show,” he said, “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.”
So determined was Beerbohm to get the ball rolling immediately after his release that he ordered his father to stop driving after they passed by a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy on the ride home from prison. Beerbohm quickly introduced himself to the school owner and explained his intentions.
Just eight days after his first lesson, Beerbohm stepped in the cage where he won his first amateur bout. After amassing a 12-0 record under amateur status in only nine months, he decided the time was right to turn professional. He has since finished all but one of his nine victimsLINK - halfway down page