UFC on FOX 3 got off to a quick start with an absolutely brutal knockout in the heavyweight bout that featured Lavar Johnson punching out Pat Barry at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
It was everything we hoped it would be, as Barry and Johnson stood in the center of the Octagon, slugging it out. Barry even showed off his improved ground game as he momentarily mounted Johnson before transitioning into Johnson in side control.
The fight got back to the feet, though, and that was when Johnson took over. With thunderous power in both hands, Johnson put Barry against the cage and unloaded. "HD" took an incredible amount of punishment and remained on his feet for quite awhile before he finally crumbled to the mat in defeat.
The victory makes the second straight first-round KO for Johnson in the UFC since the UFC/Strikeforce heavyweight merger, and begs the question—who's next?
Joe Silva is the only guy who knows the answer to that question, but if I can throw a suggestion into his ear...how about Shane Carwin?
Carwin hasn't fought since the beating he took (and somehow survived) at the hands of Junior dos Santos at UFC 131 last June. He's been recovering from back surgery and is expected to be back sometime this summer.
The former interim heavyweight champion has been fighting the best of the best for quite some time now, but after such a long layoff, a fight against a guy who's moving up the ranks makes sense to get him back into the swing of things.
If you thought Barry and Johnson was a fun slugfest, just wait until you see the show that Johnson and Carwin would put on. I can see the smile on Dana White's face already.
If this fight does get booked, get that "Knockout of the Night" bonus ready because someone's walking out with a little extra spending cash.