Shinya Aoki vs Lyle Beerbohm Planned For April 9th Strikeforce CardDREAM Lightweight Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki is expected to make his return to the Strikeforce cage on April 9th against once-beaten prospect Lyle “Fancy Pants” Beerbohm. The matchup was first reported by and has since been confirmed by multiple sources.

Aoki debuted for Strikeforce last April when he was shut out in a five-round title fight against Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez. He rebounded with three wins in Japan, but suffered an embarrassing knockout loss to Yuichiro “Jienotsu” Nagashima in a mixed rules bout at “K-1 Dynamite!!” on New Year’s Eve.

Aoki (26-5-0, 1 NC) has encountered a rocky road over the past three years, earning big victories and suffering devastating defeats. The judoka’s first bid for DREAM title gold ended in a knockout loss to Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen in the pair’s July 2008 rematch, but Aoki was able to successfully capture the title when he faced Hansen for a third time in October of 2009. In between the bouts with Hansen, Aoki posted a WAMMA title win over Bellator ace Eddie Alvarez and was brutally stopped by old rival Hayato “Mach” Sakurai in just 27 seconds in a Dream.8 welterweight bout.

On December 31, 2009, Aoki broke former Sengoku champion Mizuto Hirota’s arm with a hammerlock before flipping off Hirota and the Japanese crowd in attendance at K-1 Dynamite. He then travelled to the United States to challenge Melendez for the Californian’s Strikeforce title, but was soundly beaten after five lopsided rounds. Since that time, Aoki has defeated top contender Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri, UFC veteran Marcus “Maximus” Aurelio and kickboxer Yokthai Sithoar in bouts in Japan, but he is still reeling from the humiliating defeat to Nagashima just over two months ago.

Beerbohm (15-1-0) won his first 15 professional fights before suffering his first loss at the hands of Pat “Bam Bam” Healy on February 18th. The recovered methamphetamine addict has maintained a very active schedule inside the cage, and has split time between Strikeforce and regional promotions in his home state of Washington. Known for his aggressive style and flashy fight attire, Beerbohm holds big wins over Duane “Bang” Ludwig and Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro under the Strikeforce banner, but his hopes of competing for Strikeforce title gold were dashed – at least temporarily – by Healy in February. Now looking to rebound from the loss, Beerbohm will welcome Aoki back to Strikeforce in April.

The bout between Aoki and Beerbohm is expected to be part of the main card of Strikeforce: “Diaz vs Daley” on April 9th. The event is headlined by a Strikeforce Welterweight Championship bout between Nick Diaz and Paul “Semtex” Daley, and also features a Strikeforce Lightweight Championship rematch between Gilbert “El Niño” Melendez and Tatsuya “Crusher” Kawajiri. In addition, former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi will face Mike “MAK” Kyle.



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  1. Aoki by flying armbar.
    Great match up.