From prison to Strikeforce

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Beerbohm vs Rafaello Oliveira. Photo: Esther Lin

Lyle Beerborm, the opponent of Jiu-Jitsu black belt Vitor Shaolin at the May 15 Strikeforce show, has a different story from most. A former drug addict, his start in MMA came the day he got out of prison, in Washington.

As soon as he was out of jail, Beerbohm enrolled at a Jiu-Jitsu academy and, eight days later, had his first amateur fight. He now counts 13 MMA wins, with seven knockouts and five submissions. His Strikeforce debut came in June of 2009. Through the martial arts, Beerbohm found the discipline and determination missing in his life.

“If I hadn’t gone to prison, I might not be alive today. I wouldn’t be clean and rehabilitated, off drugs. I swapped crystal meth for MMA,” says Beerbohm.

“After watching MMA on TV, I knew deep down that was what I was going to do,” he adds.

Beerbohm, who had been a good wrestler during high school, will face off against Vitor Shaolin, one of sport Jiu-Jitsu’s greatest champions, with a 20-win and three- loss MMA record. But that doesn’t shake his confidence.

“This is my goal. I want to be champion; I want a five-round fight,” he says in finishing.

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