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Tag: Lavar Johnson

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.

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Strikeforce Challengers 19 Results: Larkin Still Undefeated, Jordan upsets Johnson


With a chest like that, Shawn Jordan deserves a special place in our hearts

Let’s pretend that you’re a novice MMA fan. You just started watching the sport after being at a bar that was showing “one of those UFC events”, and you want to follow this sport more closely. Specifically, you want to be able to watch the sport’s brightest prospects fighting on the same card while it’s still mostly for recognition. Then let me tell you everything you need to know: The UFC 135 Facebook prelims begin at 5:30 ET. You’re welcome.

For those of you who really want to be hardcore fans, and want to know about the brightest prospects of the minor leagues fighting to be somewhat more famous minor league prospects, we got your back, too. Strikeforce Challengers 19 went down last night in Las Vegas last night at the Palms Resort Casino. While most of the fighters were pretty rough around the edges, the crowd was still treated to some decent fights.

In the main event, light heavyweight prospect Lorenz Larkin remained undefeated by edging out Nick Rossborough for a unanimous decision victory. Despite accepting the fight on short notice, Nick Rossborough kept the fight close throughout the first round by utilizing the clinch against the shorter Larkin. However, Larkin managed to wear Rossborough down with leg kicks throughout the second round, and opened up a cut on Rossborough’s forehead with elbows in the third. Lorenz Larkin is now 12-0 in his MMA career, while Nick Rossborough falls to 20-15.

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Strikeforce Challengers Aftermath: Some Fights Totally Happened Last Night

(VidProps: YouTube/ZProphet420)

Depending on how you look at it, this week was either the perfect complement or an immediate counterpoint to Dana White’s recent claims that there could never be too much MMA on TV. What with UFC 120, Countdown, Primetime, TUF, Bellator and Challengers all leading up to the only show that really matters tonight, this week pretty much planned itself for fans who were so inclined. In light of that crush of programming, it’s perfectly understandable if you totally spaced on the fact that Strikeforce put on an event last night headlined by a rematch between a guy named Bobby Voelker and a guy called Roger Bowling. It’s cool. You probably had other stuff going on.

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Strikeforce Challengers ‘Johnson vs. Mahe’ Quick Results…

Lavar Big Johnson Lolohea Mahe Strikeforce Challengers MMA
(And you thought the tats on the *front* of Mahe were insane? Photo courtesy of Esther Lin/Strikeforce.)

…are after the jump, for the benefit of all you crybabies.

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Heads-Up: Tate, Galvao, and ‘Big’ Johnson Fighting at ‘Strikeforce Challengers’ Tonight

Lolohea Mahe Strikeforce Challengers MMA tattoos
(Lolohea Mahe’s body is eerily similar to what my legal pad looks like during boring conference calls. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin/Strikeforce.)

As a light appetizer to tomorrow’s big show, Strikeforce is having its latest Challengers event tonight at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. The main card will be broadcast on Showtime starting at 11:45 p.m. ET/PT. If you don’t subscribe to Showtime, you’re in luck — the network will be available for free this weekend in 54.4 million households as part of their All Access Free Preview Weekend.

So why is tonight’s event worth DVR’ing? Well, you’ve got Hottest Women in MMA honoree Miesha Tate (8-2) taking on undefeated prospect (and former Fresno City College soccer player) Zoila Frausto (5-0) in a 135-pound contest. Jiu-jitsu phenom Andre Galvao (3-1) will try to rebound from his first MMA loss — a split-decision against Jason High at the DREAM Welterweight Grand Prix semi-finals — against Strikeforce veteran Luke Stweart (6-2). And in the main event, Fresno native Lavar Johnson (11-3) will take on Hawaiian heavyweight Lolohea Mahe (3-0-1). It will be Johnson’s first cage-appearance since his 18-second knockout of Carl Seumanutafa last May. In July, Johnson was shot in the abdomen by an unidentified gunman while attending a family barbecue. Four other people were shot during the incident, with one of them dying at the scene. Expect a hero’s welcome from the hometown crowd tonight.

The full lineup and weigh-in results are after the jump. No, not all fighters made their contracted weights, but they all tried, which I think is totally admirable.

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