In the first main card bout at Stefan Struve picked picked up a quick submission victory over Lavar Johnson. It was expected to be a battle between Johnson's power and Struve's submission skills, and that's exactly how it played out. Johnson busted Struve's lip open with a shot early and worked it against the fence (where he is usually at his best). Struve was able to clinch up and pull guard, and quickly latched on an armbar for the win at just 1:05 of the first round.,
It looked like Johnson's arm was hurt even though Struve released the hold as soon as Johnson hit the mat. The win was Struve's third in a row, and the loss halted Johnson's two-fight winning streak. Johnson was a late replacement for Mark Hunt, who was forced to pull out with an injury just nine days before the event.
What was the high spot of this fight?
The submission. As soon as Struve was able to get an advantage, you just had a feeling the tap was coming quickly. And it did.
Where do these guys go from here?
Struve will probably go back to the matchup they had scheduled originally -a date with Mark Hunt. That all depends on how severe Hunt's injury is though. If not, they'll throw him in there with some other big striker and see how he does. That seems to be Struve's niche at the moment.
Johnson picked up his first UFC loss and proved once again that his ground game is a major, major liability. He can strike with the best of them, but he's going to have to shore up his takedown and submission defense to compete with the better guys in the division. He'll probably end up facing another big striker next - Cheick Kongo could be a solid choice. Or Dave Herman.
Watch it now, later or never?
Now. It'll only take a few seconds and you get to see a cool finish. Go on. Do it.
More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 146 in the full entry.