Following last week’s announcement that Strikeforce would be dissolving their heavyweight division for the coming year, word has come that Strikeforce heavyweights Chad Griggs and Lavar Johnson will be moving over to the UFC.
MMA Weekly has the report on Griggs.
The migration of former Strikeforce heavyweights to the UFC continues as Chad Griggs has signed a new deal to move over to the UFC in 2012.
Sources close to the fighter confirmed to MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday that Griggs will move to the UFC and begin fighting there in the new year.
It’s unknown exactly where and when Griggs will make his UFC debut, however Lavar Johnson already has a fight scheduled. The UFC has confirmed that Johnson will take on Joey Beltran at UFC on FOX 2 in his first UFC fight.
Less than one week after UFC president Dana White announced that Strikeforce would no longer be promoting heavyweight contests, UFC executives today announced Lavar Johnson (15-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has been imported to the UFC and will meet Joey Beltran (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC).
The two heavyweights will clash at UFC on FOX 2, which takes place Jan. 28 at Chicago’s United Center.
The night’s main card airs on FOX, but Beltran vs. Johnson is expected to take place on the evening’s preliminary card.
Griggs and Johnson aren’t the only ones making the move. MMA Weekly reported last week that Fabricio Werdum had re-signed with the UFC and would face Roy Nelson at UFC 143. The UFC still hasn’t made it official, however both Werdum and Nelson both confirmed it today, so an announcement is likely imminent.
I may be missing a few, but that still leaves Antonio Silva, Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier.
Silva, who is currently recovering from shoulder surgery, hopes to make the jump next year as well, however there hasn’t been any movement on that front as of yet.
Barnett and Cormier are expected to meet in the Heavyweight Grand Prix finals in March. The winner will then fight one more time on Showtime against a “top heavyweight.” I would assume the winner would then move to the UFC, but that’s still unclear.
All in all, it looks like the Strikeforce heavyweights are moving on to bigger and better things. Bet Gilbert Melendez wishes he was about a 100 pounds heavier.