If there were any lingering questions about the brilliance behind Zuffa bringing the heavyweights from Strikeforce over to the UFC they have seemingly been answered after Lavar Johnson stepped up on short notice to fill in for Mark Hunt. Johnson is 2-0 since joining the UFC in January and recently racked up a knockout win over Pat Barry at UFC on FOX 3.
Hunt was injured while training for a May 26 match-up with Stefan Struve at UFC 146 meaning Johnson will see action inside the Octagon twice this month.
“You don’t get chances like this too much in life, so when you are lucky, you got to make the most of it,” said Johnson of the opportunity he was offered.
Johnson holds an overall record of 17-5 with all of his wins involving some form of finish. Fifteen of the stoppages have featured a TKO.
UFC 146 is the first event in the promotion’s history to feature a PPV with nothing but heavyweight bouts. The show is headlined by champion Junior dos Santos putting his belt up for grabs against Frank Mir.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Johnson deserves a lot of respect for agreeing to an opponent like Struve with only a week to prepare, while Struve also earns props from me because Hunt/Johnson are completely different specimens despite their similar styles. Struve went from preparing to face a flabby guy who is 5’10” on a good day to a 6’3” powerhouse.