After losing his first fight in three years this past February, Lavar “Big” Johnson understands the urgency of getting back on the winning track when he returns to action Friday night in Las Vegas as part of Strikeforce Challengers 19 at The Palms.
“It’s very important,” he said. “I want to keep my job and I want to make it to the big show and make some money; to do that I have to come away with some impressive wins.”
While it’s imperative that Johnson win in order to get his career back to where he wants it to be, he’s not going to let that distract him Friday night.
“I don’t think about it,” he said. “Fights go as fights go; no matter how big it is or what level. Easy or not, it’s always a fight and anybody’s capable of winning. I just focus and get prepared and ready to go.”
Stepping into the cage to face Johnson is Shawn Jordan, who is coming off a loss in his Strikeforce debut in July.
According to Johnson, while he’s the veteran of the two and has faced more well-known opposition, he’s not going to overlook Jordan.
“We’re all professional fighters, so he’s not in the cage because he can’t fight,” said Johnson. “I don’t take him lightly, but I do think I have an advantage with my speed and athletic ability.”
With both fighters in need of a win to secure their tenure with Strikeforce, fireworks could very well ensue.
“I’m expecting that,” said Johnson. “I know he’s a tough guy and he’s going to come out and stand and bang with me – at least I hope he does. Hopefully we can just go at it. Fans want to see fireworks, big bombs being thrown; and I don’t feel like wrestling. Hopefully he feels the same way.”
After stumbling in February, Johnson wants to fight as much as he can in order to get back to the top level of the promotion as soon as possible and redeem himself.
“I want to get back on the big show as soon as possible and get some W’s under my belt,” he said. “Within a week or two weeks, (if they ask me to fight again) I’m ready to go.”
Before then, Johnson has a big first step forward Friday night, so don’t blink or you may miss it.
“Just be ready to see a good old-fashioned heavyweight slugfest,” he closed out. “I’ll go for the quick win because nobody wants to be in there for all three rounds, so let’s get in there and let’s get after it.”