Despite being the owner of potentially the least-clever name in mixed martial arts, San Jose's Lavar " Big" Johnson made things a little interesting in the UFC's heavyweight division on Saturday. On the Fuel TV undercard portion of UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis, Johnson became the first person to ever knockout Joey Beltran, something that is actually much more impressive than it sounds.
Sure, Beltran isn't a world-beater, but in his 20-fight MMA career, he's only been stopped once, a submission loss back in 2008 to Tony Lopez in just his sixth fight ever. He's lost other fights, but hasn't been finished, despite matches against hard-hitters like Pat Berry, Matt Mitrione and Houston Alexander. Maybe all of those guys don't necessarily have a huge finishing rate, but all of them hit Beltran very, very hard, and he took the punishment just fine.
His chin, however, could not hold up against Johnson, who unloaded with five or six uppercuts and a right hook, though all but one of the uppercuts were superfluous. They actually served to keep Beltran standing, as he went limp and was punched into a standing position several times before the referee realized that he was, in fact, out.
Don't get me wrong, Johnson "making things interesting," doesn't entail that the tops of the division need to keep their eyes out and start calling their insurance providers, it just means that he hits really, really, really, really hard and utilizes some pretty fantastic angles to make sure said hits land. Like Beltran, he'll never be a world beater, but there's always a place in the UFC who can take a guy like Beltran and make a ragdoll out of him.