In his UFC debut, Lavar Johnson showed that he belonged with UFC heavyweights with a first-round knockout of UFC veteran Joey Beltran.
Johnson shook Beltran early with a hook and a several knees, but Beltran survived. While Beltran swung wildly, Johnson hit straight punches. This continued for much of the round, as Beltran had trouble getting anywhere near Johnson's face.The strikes finally started to pile up late in the round, as Johnson hit Beltran with uppercuts and hooks to end the bout at 4:24 in the first round
The UFC decided late last year to dissolve Strikeforce's heavyweight division and move the 265-lbers to the UFC. Johnson is the first fighter to be moved over, and showed with dizzying punches that he will be a player in the UFC's heavyweight division. This was the first time Beltran was knocked out in the UDC.
Michael Johnson stops Shane Roller's wrestling
Michael Johnson stifled Shane Roller's wrestling on the way to a 29-28 on all three cards for a unanimous decision.
The two were even in the first round in striking, but Johnson impressed early in the round with his ability to shake off Roller's takedown attempts. Johnson's straight left caused problems for Roller as the round wore on. Johnson rocked Roller in the last 10 seconds with a flying knee.
Roller found his rhythm in the second round, connecting on more punches early on. He returned to the takedown, but again Johnson stuffed it. After a clinch against the cage, Johnson got the takedown. Working from Roller's closed guard, Johnson landed a few elbows before Roller worked back to his feet. Late in the round, Johnson wobbled Roller with a bevy of strikes.
Things changed quickly in the third round, as Roller was able to get the takedown, get Johnson's back and land elbows and punches. The fight was stopped briefly as Herb Dean warned Roller about punching the back of the head, but when it was restarted, Roller stretched Johnson out. Roller held Johnson in that position for most of the round, until with a minute left, Johnson reversed his position. He got on top and began to throw elbows and punches. They returned to their feet, and Johnson threw an inadvertent strike to Roller's groin.
The onslaught from Roller proved to be too little too late. Johnson, a finalist in "The Ultimate Fighter" who lost his last bout showed great improvement in his wrestling game. He stopped the takedowns of Roller, an All-American wrestler at Oklahoma State.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/Martial Arts
- Michael Johnson
- Shane Roller