The Japanese submission ace laid a rotten egg in his last Strikeforce appearance and was coming off a knockout loss at Dynamite!! 2010 this past New Year's Eve.
Let's look at what Beerbohm did wrong and what Aoki did so, so right:
Beerbohm shot out of the gate quickly and immediately clinched with Aoki, hoping to "wall and stall" his way to victory a la his fight against Vitor Ribeiro.
Shinya Aoki also holds a judo black belt and he's snapped an opponent's arm in the past from the standing clinch. He quickly threw "Fancy Pants" to the canvas, hopped on his back with a body triangle and forced the American to tap to a wicked neck crank that almost looked like he was going to rip his head off.
This was "The Tobikan Judan" that many expected to see last April when he fought Melendez for the title.
An emotional Aoki broke down as he was announced the victor and fans chanted his name. He's had a lot on his mind with a newborn at home that he hasn't had a chance to see yet combined with the recent tragedy in Japan.
With the victory, he's now won four consecutive MMA fights and is likely one fight away from a potential rematch with champion Gilbert Melendez. It definitely appears that he's more comfortable in the cage now.
For Lyle Beerbohm, a drop to featherweight could be in his future. After an electric 16-fight winning streak, this was the second consecutive bout in which he's been out-muscled and out-grappled. Strikeforce doesn't have a 145-pound division so he may be hopping from promotion to promotion until his "Fancy Pants" find a new home.
Photo above via Esther Lin/Strikeforce