It didn’t take long for the UFC to start bringing over Strikeforce heavyweights. Less than one week after UFC president Dana White announced that the Strikeforce heavyweight division would cease to exist in 2012, Lavar Johnson has been called up to the big time to face Joey Beltran at UFC on FOX 2. The heavyweight slugfest will be part of the nights preliminary card.
The bout has been confirmed by UFC officials.
“Big” Johnson will be looking to stop a two fight slide, dropping his last two bouts by submission to Shane del Rosario and Shawn Jordan. Having never gone to a decision in 20 professional fights, Johnson has stopped 13 opponents by way of (T)KO. Perhaps his biggest victory came back in 2009 and happened outside of the cage. During a Fourth of July family reunion, Johnson was shot twice and spent over a month in the hospital, reportedly in serious condition. Johnson pulled through though and returned to training upon being released.
A fellow banger, also in a must-win situation, Beltran has lost three of his last four, dropping decisions to Matt Mitrione, Pat Barry, and Stipe Miocic but picking up a victory over Aaron Rosa prior to his bout with Miocic. Like Johnson, the majority of Beltran’s victories have come by way of (T)KO, finishing 11 of 13 opponents via strikes. In six career losses, “The Mexicutioner” has only been finished once back in 2008.
UFC on FOX 2 is scheduled for January 28 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The event will be headlined by a light heavyweight showdown between former champion Rashad Evans and top contender Phil Davis.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/STRIKEFORCE