It was a fight that was made with the idea of pleasing the casual fan and heavyweights Lavar Johnson and Pat Barry completely lived up to expectations last night (May 5, 2012) in the UFC on FOX 3 main card-opening bout with a very action-packed one round brawl.
It wasn't the most technical battle, but it was about as violent and powerful as you can get with both men looking to knock each other senseless.
On paper, Barry had the more diverse skillset and was the more accurate striker, having the ability to mix in vicious kicks to go with his punches and (surprisingly) a better ground game.
So how did Johnson send "HD" to the hospital? And what happens next for both big bombers?
Follow me after the jump for our Lavar Johnson vs. Pat Barry UFC on FOX 3 post-fight review and analysis:
Early on, it was all about power and spacing. Johnson pressed forward throwing heavy leather and Barry tried to keep his distance and snap off his kicks, but the bigger, stronger Johnson was able to corner Barry against the cage.
Utilizing a nice cross-face, Johnson threw some big knees and hooks at his trapped foe and unleashed a big flurry of punches mixed in with leaning on "HD" against the fence which forced Barry to attempts a takedown.
Barry was actually successful with his takedown, taking the mount immediately, but oddly gave up the position to go to side control where he looked to try and tap Johnson out with a keylock but his technique on the canvas simply wasn't to the level where he could actually finish it.
Eventually, Johnson grabbed an underhook and worked his way back to his feet, and this was the demise of Pat Barry. After surprising the former kickboxer by throwing a head kick, Johnson closed the distance and threw one of the nastiest and most violent heavyweight striking flurries I've ever seen.
For the next 20 seconds, Johnson UNLOADED on Barry with left and right hooks, throwing 35 total strikes to "HD's" head while mixing in a few knees. He finally really hurt the Deathclutch fighter with an uppercut and then put him down for good with a left hook to the head.
For Pat Barry, this was just some poor judgement. You can't allow yourself to get trapped against the fence against such a powerful striker like Lavar Johnson. Iron-chinned Joey Beltran did the exact same thing and even he was finished. Also, I have to wonder why Barry gave up the full mount just so he could work on a keylock against Johnson. If he had just stayed in mount, he might have been able to ground and pound his way to victory or perhaps force Johnson to give up his back and potentially even a choke. Barry's biggest weapons in this fight were his kicks and by not creating space, he gave himself very little opportunity to utilize them.
For Lavar Johnson, he did exactly what he needed to do to win this fight. He got in Pat Barry's face, he pressured him constantly and he never gave him room to breathe. His attack against the fence, especially in the opening minute was perfect. It was a combination of leaning on Barry mixed with spurts of violent flurries and power shots. The stand-up couldn't have gone any better for the "Big" man. His ground skills obviously leave much to be desired, but credit him for getting back to his feet when he was in a bad spot. Anyone that stands and trades with Johnson has a very real chance of being put away.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you surprised Barry couldn't get off the fence? What would you do with Johnson next after two vicious knockouts?