In a fight that will bring the winner one step closer to challenging for a world title, undefeated rising star Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm will face dangerous veteran Pat “Bam Bam’’ Healy in the main event of a Strikeforce Challengers, at Cedar Park Center in the Austin, Texas, on Friday, February 18, to air live on Showtime at 11 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time in the U.S. (delayed on the West Coast).
Beerbohm, of Spokane, Washington, will enter what will be a dangerous-for-both-fighters lightweight (155 pounds) scrap with a record of 15-0. Healy, of St. Louis, is 25-17.
Tickets for Strikeforce’s third fight card in twenty-one days and second in the Lone Star State go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Central Time on Friday, January 21, and will be available at the Cedar Park Center ticket office, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com) and the show official website (www.strikeforce.com).
The first non-televised, undercard fight will begin at 7:30 p.m. Central Time. The doors open at 6:45 p.m.
Both Beerbohm and Healy are highly skilled 155-pounders who are trying to position themselves to contend for a possible shot at champion Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez.
The experienced Healy has faced top quality opposition and is no stranger to a big fight. He showed his ability and tremendous determination in his last start, pushing former lightweight champion Josh Thomson to the limit before getting submitted (rear-naked choke) at 4:27 of the third and final scheduled round on June 26, 2010.
All Beerbohm has done is win convincingly.
Beerbohm will be making his fourth start for Strikeforce and his main event debut. In his last outing, Beerbohm won a split-decision over Jiu-Jitsu world champion Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro on May 15, 2010. It was only the second time one of Beerbohm’s fights went the distance.
A 5-foot-10, three-year pro, Beerbohm, who turns 32 on Feb. 5, has since fought twice, both times in his home state of Washington. He is coming off a 2:48, first-round submission (guillotine choke) over Talon Hoffman on Dec. 4, 2010.
Beerbohm literally began his pro career after serving 366 days at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla as a result of felony convictions, all related to a crystal meth addiction. The day he was freed from prison, he visited a Jiu-Jitsu gym. He had his first amateur fight 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.”
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, whose nickname is derived from the custom-made, multi-colored trunks sewn by his mother, owns wins over former world Muay Thai champion and UFC veteran Duane “Bang’’ Ludwig as well as UFC vet Rafaello Oliveira. Beerbohm submitted (bulldog choke) Ludwig in the first round, on June 19, 2009.
“I want to fight the best, I want to fight for the 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 show the fans 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.’’
A member of Team Quest, Healy has been an active MMA fighter for nearly a decade. He’s ousted big-name, quality opponents all
over the world since turning pro in August 2001, including Paul “Semtex’’ Daley, Carlos Condit and Dan Hardy.
Healy has won three of his last four bouts, and six of eight. “I was disappointed I didn’t quite get it done the last time, but I appreciate getting another opportunity against an up-and-coming fighter,’’ Healy said. “This fight is obviously very important to me. I’ll enter the cage with a lot of confidence.’’
Healy got his start in MMA at the age of 15, shortly after he and a brother stood up to a neighborhood bully and Muay Thai practitioner. Following the altercation, Pat wanted to learn more about technical fighting and sought out MMA gyms for formal training.
To supplement his MMA training regimen, he wrestled in high school, gaining All State accolades and eventually went on to wrestle at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. Following college, Pat knew that he had the potential to do something great and devoted himself fulltime to an MMA career.
Healy believes that cardio is his strength and that it allows him to pressure and break his opponents mentally.