4-Fight Main Card Set for April 9 Strikeforce in San Diego


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A rumored lightweight matchup between Shinya Aoki and Lyle Beerbohm (Pictured) has been greenlit for Strikeforce “Diaz vs. Daley,” which goes down April 9 at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego.

The bout, made official by the promotion on Wednesday, joins three previously announced bouts on the Showtime-televised main card, including the headlining Strikeforce welterweight title fight between champion Nick Diaz and challenger Paul Daley.

Co-headlining the show will be Gilbert Melendez, who defends his Strikeforce lightweight belt against Japanese “Crusher” Tatsuya Kawajiri. Also scheduled for the event is a showdown between Dream light heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi and King of the Cage 205-pound titleholder Mike Kyle.

Nicknamed “Fancy Pants” for his colorful, homemade fight wear, Beerbohm enters the Aoki bout fresh off the first defeat of his career. Previously unbeaten in 15 professional contests, the 32-year-old was bested by Pat Healy in a razor-thin unanimous decision at Strikeforce Challengers 14 on Feb. 18.

A Washington native, Beerbohm began his pro career in 2007 after serving jail time on drug-related charges. The lightweight has excelled as a mixed martial artist, making his Strikeforce debut in 2008 and since earning a 3-1 record in the promotion. A veteran of the defunct EliteXC organization, Beerbohm has finished all but two of his career victims by knockout or submission.

Like Beerbohm, Dream lightweight champ Aoki is famous for sporting some of the most colorful ring attire in the sport. The 27-year-old ground wizard holds black belts in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and judo, and owns over half of his 26 career victories by submission.

Aoki has won six of his last seven bouts, not counting his most recent mixed-rules bout against kickboxing talent Yuichiro Nagashima on New Year’s Eve. After avoiding Nagashima for the first portion of the bout, which was contested under K-1 rules, Aoki was shockingly knocked while attempting a takedown at the start of the fight’s MMA round. The last true MMA loss on the record of the “Tobikan Judan” came at the hands of the aforementioned Melendez nearly one year ago, in Aoki’s first appearance in the Strikeforce cage.

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