Domestic violence continues to haunt mixed martial arts at every level of the sport. While it’s undeniable that regional MMA, which almost never has criminal background checks for competitors, is oftentimes a safe haven for ex-cons and other troubled individuals to earn some money on the side, those difficulties reach all the way to the top of the MMA totem pole.
Diego Brandao is one of the many UFC fighters past and present that have been in trouble with the law.
The UFC has struggled with balancing a squeaky clean public image and the dark realities of MMA and that came up yet again this week, with news breaking that one of its former fighters is in deep, deep trouble. So who is this fighter? And what did he do? Check out the next page.
The fighter in question is former heavyweight contender Lavar Johnson, who fought in the UFC, WEC, Strikeforce and Bellator. He hit his stride in 2012 in the UFC after scoring two colossal knockout wins, but was cut from the UFC following a loss and a drug test failure.
As for what he did, Johnson (38) was convicted of brutally beating his girlfriend, smashing her against a wall and throwing her to the floor before repeatedly striking her. Johnson also went to jail for 30 days in 2007 for another assault on his significant other at the time.
Hopefully Johnson can learn his lesson and right his ways…but it’s unlikely.