Lyle Beerbohm: “I’ll give Benson Henderson a five-round war, I truly believe that.”

Six months ago, Lyle Beerbohm was admittedly chopping firewood to make ends meet; the winter chill of his hometown Spokane, Washington seemingly as cold as the receiving end of his phone line awaiting his next fight opportunity.  Despite a 16-2 professional record and openly looking for a fight, Beerbohm wasn’t gathering much traction toward a next fight.

Only months later, Beerbohm has stepped into the cage three times, has fielded a call from the UFC to fill in for Evan Dunham against Edson Barboza (which he declined due to injury), and been given a renewed outlook on his career prospects as well as maintained an unending willingness to keep active.  During an interview with Fighters.com, Beerbohm addressed his need to keep going, and eying a UFC debut.

“I want to fight.  I want to get going.  There’s fights available, but I’m waiting for the UFC,” started Beerbohm.   “I want to be in the UFC.  If that doesn’t happen right away, then I’ll want to keep fighting.  I’ve had 30 fights now in five years.  I like to scrap.  I want to try and fight as many times as I can.”

Taking a moment to reflect, and discuss what the immediate future held, Beerbohm was unwavering in what he wanted: A call to join his training partners Cody McKenzie, Sam Sicilia and Michael Chiesa in the UFC, and continue to provide for his family along the way.

“I just want to be in the UFC,” continued Beerbohm. “My personal goal is to get enough money to buy a house for my fiancée and my kids.  I want to get them set, maybe get them a couple nice cars, and get some money in the bank.  That’s my goal.  It’s not too big of a goal for some guys, but it’s all I want.  When I get in the UFC, I’ll give anybody a fight.  I’ll give Benson Henderson a five-round war, I truly believe that.  It doesn’t matter to me.  I just want to get in there and get fighting.”

All three of his fights in 2012 have been wins.  After the first fight, a quick submission victory over Cleburn Walker, Beerbohm  has taken two fights in the last 60 days – An armbar victory over Chris Ensley, and a dominant decision victory over former PRIDE and UFC veteran Marcus Aurelio.  Beerbohm’s gameplan going into the fight was simple, and says his execution could not have been any better.

“I didn’t want to go too hard on him because he is tricky with his submissions,” said Beerbohm.  “My goal was to cut him up and push the pace.  I hit him with some really tough, some really good shots and he’s just a tough guy.  I split him open and hit him with a ton of good ground and pound and he kept on coming.  Usually guys get weaker and weaker.  He just stayed tough the whole time, and I’ve got give him props for that.

“It was good for me to get to take him down.  I’ve been grappling now for just under five years, and I’ve put a lot of time on the mat,” he continued. ” I just proved to myself how good my submission defense is, and how good my top game is.  It just gave me more confidence.”

That submission defense was able to power Beerbohm through some scary moments, including one of Aurelio best attempt to finish the fight – An armbar.  Beerbohm acknowledged the tight position he was in, but says recovery was just a matter of days before he felt it was time to get back into the gym.

“Marcus tweaked my elbow when he got me in that Armbar,” admitted Beerbohm.  “It didn’t look like it was tight, but it was super tight.  It cracked a bunch of times, but it’s all good now.  I helped Cody get ready for Chad Mendes.  He came down here, so I had to get right back in the gym three days after the fight.  I put some tape on it and off it went, and it healed up.  I hurt my right hand too, but it was just a knuckle bruise and it’s good to go.”

Beerbohm’s victory could also be attributed to his aggressive fight style, which is a mixture of his wrestling and grappling experience.  It is a style, he believes, that could result in some great fights, and some marquee matchups in the future.

“I truly believe anybody that wants to go to the ground with me is a good match-up, just because of my style.  It’s not quite jiu-jitsu.  It’s just a scramble, where I’ll work to get on top.  Anybody that’s willing to grapple with me I truly believe is a good matchup for me.  I wrestled in High school, and though I never did in college, my wrestling flows well.  I just move forward, and I don’t get stuck off a shot and have to re-shoot.  I just pound toward that takedown.  A lot of guys get stuffed once and they stop shooting.  I just push and bulldoze them into the cage and get them down.  It’s a weird style of wrestling, but it definitely works for me. ”

“I know Shinya Aoki caught me,” added Beerbohm.  “I get a bit impatient, and I gave him my back, and he caught me.  I’d do it again though.  I was really close to getting out, maybe a quarter inch away from when he caught me.  I match up with all grapplers.  It’d be good I think.”

Beerbohm concluded by discussing his personal life. His story of overcoming the demons of drug addiction have been well documented (he admits that finding MMA saved his life,) and he is currently working on two ways of sharing his tale of triumph through tragedy – A documentary entitled “No Submission: The Lyle Beerbohm Story” and an autobiography.  Both of these have been in the making for quite some time, however, are still works in progress.  Beerbohm admitted he is not yet ready to send it to the publishers just yet.

“The book is coming along good,” explained Beerbohm.  “We are just waiting for the finish.  There are people that, at the end of it, will really like me, or really hate me.  I tell all.  I tell all the nitty gritty on what I used to do to get money to go get drugs, and it was bad.   It also shows you a way out.  I am also working on the documentary.  We are just looking for a better ending.  We could finish it now, but I`m telling everybody to wait.”

“This story isn’t over.  It is far from over,” he concluded.

You can follow Lyle Beerbohm on Twitter @fancypantslyle.  He regularly interacts with his fans on his Facebook page, found here.  “No Submission: The Lyle Beerbohm Story” also has an official Facebook page, which can be found here.   Lastly, you can “like” Lyle Beerbohm on his official Facebook fan page, found here.  Beerbohm operates Fancy Pants Fight team out of Spokane, Washington.

PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE