Almost three weeks ago, Lavar Johnson (17-5 MMA, 2-0 UFC) knocked out Pat Barry at UFC on Fox 3, and won “Knockout of the Night”. He did the same to Joey Beltran at Fox’s second UFC event back in January. Could his third UFC fight at UFC 146 earn him another “Knockout of the Night”?
If all goes according to Johnson’s plan, he will: “I like to win by knocking people out, I’m going to go in there and put on a good show.”
At the Open Workouts for UFC 146 Johnson said: “I’m still in shape from the last fight, and I know it is going to be kind of hard to top my last two performances, but I like to win by knockout or TKO. I’m going to go in there and do that. I took this fight on short notice and I’m still in fight mode, I’m comfortable and relaxed.”
Johnson took the fight on 10-days notice, saying that he jumped at the opportunity when it was offered: “I took it right away. I’m a fighter, that’s what I do. I can’t be afraid of anybody in the UFC or what am I doing here?”
Johnson will be facing Stefan Struve (23-5, 15 by submission), who at a hair over 6’11”, is 8 inches taller than Johnson. When asked about facing someone with 15 submissions under his belt, Johnson seemed unfazed: “He doesn’t really use his reach very effectively. He has an 83-inch reach, mine is 81-inches, but I’ll beat him to the punch everytime. I didn’t have much time to prepare for a ground game, I just train to get up and stay out of submissions. I don’t train to submit people, my fans come to watch me knock someone out. There’s a lot of opportunity for me to capitalize on and I hit hard. It’s nothing personal for me, it’s just a job.”
Johnson will face Struve on May 26, 2012, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, at UFC 146. The following video is an excerpt from his open gym session on Wednesday, courtesy of MMA Heat.