It looks like Mark Hunt’s next step toward a heavyweight title shot will have to wait. A knee injury has forced him out of his UFC 146 fight with Stefan Struve. The void in the ever-changing UFC 146 card is going to be filled in by Lavar Johnson, who is fresh off another first round knockout. This bout may not have as much fan fare since Hunt has garnered such popularity lately, but it should be just as entertaining.
Stefan Struve may be young, but he doesn’t lack experience. What he does lack is the ability to take big punches. Struve has four of his five losses coming by TKO or KO in the first round. Hunt was the bout to prove that Stefan could hang with big strikers, which is something he will need when he gets to the top of the division. Johnson will still give him that chance. Stefan is a finisher, having only one decision in his 23 wins. He recently has improved his striking, getting 3 of his 6 TKO wins in his last 5 fights. This fight could be the point where Struve can prove he’s ready to turn the corner and move up the heavyweight ladder.
Lavar Johnson made it into the UFC after the heavyweight division of Strikeforce came into the promotion. Johnson came in to very little hype this January, where he barely made it on to the Fuel TV undercard on the Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis fight. After the night was over, Johnson was one of the biggest stories when he became the first man to stop Joey Beltran in the octagon. Lavar was then matched up with fellow striker Pat Barry on the next UFC on FOX card where he stopped his opponent again. Now, Johnson makes his way to the main card of a PPV where he will look to continue his streak.