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Chad Griggs, ‘Big’ Johnson Kick Off Great Strikeforce Heavyweight Exodus of 2011-2012

(Chad Griggs: Funkiest white man alive. / Photo by Esther)

Two of Strikeforce’s hardest-hitting heavyweight prospects are getting some good news this Christmas* season. According to new reports, Chad Griggs and Lavar “Big” Johnson have inked contracts with the UFC, meaning that they’ll still have jobs after Strikeforce disbands its big-man division next year.

Though he’s perhaps best known for his incredible muttonchops, Chad “The Grave Digger” Griggs (11-1) has gone on a three-fight tear under the Strikeforce banner, beating up Bobby Lashley last August at Strikeforce: Houston, then scoring back-to-back first-round stoppages against Gianpiero Villante and Valentijn Overeem in Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix reserve bouts this year. The Arizona native hasn’t lost a fight since April 2007. The date and opponent for his next fight are still TBA, but Griggs is expected to make his Octagon debut in early 2012.

It was also revealed that Lavar Johnson will be moving to the UFC, with his first match coming against Joey Beltran on the prelims of UFC on FOX 2 (January 28th, Chicago). Johnson’s UFC signing is somewhat surprising since he’s been submitted in his last two Strikeforce fights against Shane Del Rosario and Shawn Jordan. Nevertheless, Beltran vs. Johnson should be an entertaining slugfest, made more significant by the fact that the loser’s job is almost certainly on the line. Beltran most recently lost a unanimous decision against Stipe Miocic at UFC 136, and has dropped three of his last four outings.

* I can comfortably say ‘Christmas’ here instead of ‘holiday’ because I’m positive these two cats aren’t Jewish. In fact, it’s pretty damn rare to find a member of the tribe in this sport. Side note: I wanted to put together a “Greatest Jewish MMA Fighters” list in honor of Hanukkah, but then I learned that The Fight Nerd already did that last year, and even he had to include three boxers and Moti Horenstein just to make an even eight.

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Me likey- December 22, 2011 at 11:09 am
holy shit xeno you have turned from eccentric to angry. in another couple of months danga is gonna have to watch his back if xeno keeps escalating
RB- December 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm
Oh yea.. I just figured that out.. I loved The Thing (original); thanks Xeno.
XENOPHON- December 21, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Only read it this morning...and I clear said it was from nice try at capping on me. Do you cap on Cage Potato for all the articles they link too, and the video's they pilfer...few if anything is their own? No I guess you don't.
You didn't learn anything from me. Remember, the entire Arnun section from Wiki.
Isn't the whole "Macreadys Shack" simply boosted from a 1979 John Carpenter movie? Isn't that convenient, only the guilty point a finger at another.
RB- December 21, 2011 at 11:14 am
Last time I checked, saying "Merry Christmas" wasn't a crime, and therefore there is no need to "feel comfortable" Christmas, Hanukkah... it's all good!

Griggs seems ok... power, somewhat durable, but not a lot of skill to show. Seems like a mid-tier HW... at least he puts on exciting fights (and has no decisions, either!)
ClubberLame- December 21, 2011 at 10:35 am
I haven't seen the fight in a while but if memory serves me correctly, Bobby Lashley was slapping Griggs around for a cut...then was happy to be laying on the mat, getting hit repeatedly, while waiting for his lactic burn to go away/ref to stop the fight. I don't know why I felt the need to post this...other than that fact that the opening statements to this post make Griggs out to be a maybe a bit more than what I saw in the opening of the Lashley fight...
Lesnarischamp- December 21, 2011 at 10:34 am
in other words, all the Strikeforce HWs will be getting a shot in the UFC.
the division does need more matches, so I'm all for it.
FilmDrunk- December 21, 2011 at 10:30 am
That Valentijn Overeem fight was one of the weirdest I've seen. It almost looked like a fix.
macreadysshack- December 21, 2011 at 9:59 am
LOL and I was just going to pat you on the back, Xeno, for your first eva intelligible and fairly cohesive post. All stolen, however. I thought maybe you stayed up all night writing that, nay, all week! and then were waiting with bated breath for any topic to come up to post it on. Anywhoo, kinda cool post, nonetheless - I must say I learned some stuff from you today, Xeno.
djp1988- December 21, 2011 at 9:57 am
I'm thinking that Pat Barry will be Griggs' first test in the UFC. I'm not sure why, and I know it doesn't make much sense, but I've got a hunch.
XENOPHON- December 21, 2011 at 9:01 am
List of great jewish fighters....
If you retract all the free defense and economic aid money the U.S. provides to Israel, then the list is non-existent. Of the 7 billion people breathing only a scant 14 million practice the "burning bush" called Judaism.

One even has to discount the team of Mossad agents hunting down terrorists associated with the 1972 Munich massacre. They also got their funding stopped, after making too many mistakes. Absent these fucks, the closest one finds a real fighter inside the Israeli mafia - the Abergil crime family.
In 2010, it was reported by Wikileaks that the United States Embassy in Israel, in a cable titled "Israel: The Promised Land of Organized Crime?", had expressed grave concern about the activities of Israeli organized crime figures and was taking measures to prevent members of crime families from being issued visas to the United States.
If your talking about American born jewish fighters in the U.S., then really you must forget about MMA fighters - instead look at the Kosher Nostra. Name like Monk Eastman, Arnold Rothstein, or Meyer Lansky. When Cage Potato (which is jewish owned) find the next Dutch Schultz or Bugsy Siegel, let us know.
Not forgetting Bob Arnun - 2004 FBI agents raided Arum's Top Rank office in Las Vegas. Arum was on vacation when his office was raided, and the FBI originally declined to comment on the raid. The media reported that the FBI was investigating allegations that Top Rank was involved in fixing the rematch between De La Hoya and Shane Mosley, even though De La Hoya lost and Arum was De La Hoya's promoter.
The FBI also announced that it was investigating some of Eric Esch's fights, as well as the Jorge Páez-Verdell Smith fight. The investigation closed in the summer of 2006 with no charges being filed.
In 2007, UFC president Dana White accused Arnun of "sucking the life out of the sport (boxing) and not putting anything back in." Amongst White's criticisms were that Arum had created a weak undercard for the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight in 2007 saying Arum did not promote the show correctly.
Dana White said, "Arnum promoted that show completely the wrong way, because he worried about the money as opposed to trying to secure the future",
White said. "He should have stacked that card. He should have had Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins and (Marco Antonio) Barrera and Winky Wright on there and used it to show that boxing is back". In this case, we can all agree, White was right.

Arum responded by saying that MMA fighters need to examine the revenues being generated and ask why the UFC wasn't paying them more. White made these comments not realizing that Arum did not promote the De La Hoya-Mayweather bout, and was not involved in any way with the fight. His only connection was being he former promoter of both fighters.
Arum also filed a lawsuit HBO for overstepping its boundaries in the sport by becoming a defacto promoter while trying to intentionally eliminate him as a promoter (poor little Bob).
Arum complained that HBO dropped Floyd Mayweather Jr. from his exclusive deal after he insisted his fighter have a tougher bout than the network wanted. The suit was settled out of court but Arum continued to criticize HBO by saying "Instead of working with promoters, like they have done in the past, they have become promoters themselves. They make the fights just like promoters and pay fighters", Arum said. "It's their money and they can do what they want, but Don King doesn't have to go along with it and neither do I. King and I can get along without HBO or Showtime...The problem HBO Sports got into is they became defenders of the status quo. They held you back because they had control."
And this is big lesson for the UFC. HBO and Showtime are the new promoters in MMA.
In 2009, Arum defended Antonio Margarito when he lost his boxing license in the US state of California on charges of illegal hand wraps, implied it was racially motivated and stated that Top Rank would not come back to the state of California until the issue was rectified.
In late-2009, Arum called UFC fans "skinhead white guys". Bas Rutten accused him of racism for this remark. Arum also stated that MMA fighters are "guys rolling around like homosexuals on the ground.
"Earlier in the year, Arum described UFC President Dana White as "nuts" and "a little too much of a loose cannon" for White's use of a gay slur in reference to an MMA reporter.
And thanks to Wikipedia, here was today's lesson on jewish most of the writers here, there aren't any worth talking about.
Sloppyspray- December 21, 2011 at 8:30 am
I would hardly call Griggs vs. Valentijn a fight. Valentijn was tapping before he even got hit ha
danomite- December 21, 2011 at 7:48 am
Dana is just doing whatever he can to keep Griggs from becoming the HWGP champion. this was his only option left.