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Lavar Johnson vs Shane Del Rosario booked for Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament reserve bout on Feb. 12


While the upcoming Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament features a who's-who of the world's top heavyweight fighters not currently subject to the Zuffa monopoly, things don't always go according to plan. Especially when you have participants that hit as hard as Brett Rogers, or crank limbs as ruthlessly as Fabricio Werdum.

And who even knows if commission bad boy Josh Barnett will be able to obtain his license to fight.

Have no fear fellow fight fans, the alternates are here. Strikeforce is calling on two of its top division prospects to face off for the right to step in should one of the original tournament competitors be unable to continue.

The undefeated Shane Del Rosario (10-0) will test his might against the power-punches of Madera roadblock Lavar Johnson (15-3) at the upcoming Strikeforce: "New Jersey" event on Feb. 12 from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford.

ESPN brought word of the pending match-up yesterday afternoon.

Del Rosario has put together an impressive resume as part of ShoXC, M-1 and now Strikeforce "Challengers." In addition to his perfect 10-0 record, the Irvine native has finished all ten of his opponents and has only seen the second round once in his career.

Scary stuff.

Speaking of scary, his opposition has been doing some frightening things under the Strikeforce banner as well. Johnson had a "Big" knockout of Virgil Swicker back in October to run his winning streak to seven consecutive fights.

If Del Rosario is number eight, expect to see Johnson in the title hunt in 2011 -- with or without the tournament.

The Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament is expected to feature Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva, Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum, Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers and Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov.

"The Last Emperor" will kick off the quarterfinals in "The Garden State" on Feb. 12 when he tries to eliminate "Bigfoot" Silva while "The Pitbull" takes on "Kharit-top" for his shot at Strikeforce gold.

More on this developing fight card as it becomes available.

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