Following a failed drug test and a decisive loss at UFC 157, heavyweight slugger Lavar Johnson is no longer part of the promotion.
MMA Junkie confirmed the news on Thursday, speaking with "sources close to Johnson."
This latest release comes on the heels of Johnson recently being outed on testosterone levels consistent with steroid use, highlighted by an elevated 6.6-to-1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio.
Will Lavar Johnson be back?
For competition in MMA, the legal limit for a fighter's T/E ratio can vary by commission.
Johnson's last drug test followed his UFC 157 bout in Anaheim, California, which ended in a unanimous-decision loss to Brendan Schaub. In California, the maximum legal T/E ratio for combat sports is 4-to-1 (via ESPN).
"Big" Johnson will leave the UFC on a 2-2 record (17-7 MMA overall), with his two wins coming against Pat Barry and Joey Beltran.
Prior to his UFC career, Johnson had also competed in Strikeforce's heavyweight division, posting a 3-2 record that ended in back-to-back losses.
Ironically, one of Johnson's last public posts to his official Twitter account had been relief at the UFC's decision not to cut him for his loss to Schaub, who used conservative wrestling tactics to pin Johnson to the mat.
Thank God, I still have a job with the ufc! — Lavar Johnson (@LavarJohnson) March 1, 2013
Johnson's positive drug test is just one in a recent string of UFC fighters publicly revealed to have tested positive for a variety of banned substances.
On Wednesday, bantamweight Alex Caceres and middleweight Riki Fukuda also tested positive for drugs relating to their UFC on Fuel 8 bouts in Japan, with Caceres expected to attend rehab for marijuana use.
Fukuda was set to be cut from the promotion following his loss to Brad Tavares.
Along with Johnson, Caceres and Fukuda, UFC fighters Matt Riddle, Thiago Tavares, Rousimar Palhares, Thiago Silva, Stephan Bonnar and Jake Shields have also tested positive for a variety of banned substances and performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in the past year.
McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and tech writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld, PC World, 1UP, NVision, The Los Angeles Times, FightFans Radio, MMA Mania and Bleacher Report. Talk with him on Twitter.