Lavar Johnson will go to prison for brutally assaulting his girlfriend of seven years.
According to a report from News 30, a Fresno County judge sentenced the former UFC, Bellator MMA and Strikeforce heavyweight to five years in prison for a domestic violence incident that occurred on Aug. 11 last year.
Johnson reportedly slammed his girlfriend’s head against the wall and ground, kneed her in the face and head repeatedly and hit her more than 11 times with a closed fist. Johnson's attorney claimed that the incident occurred because the former fighter had too much to drink and was angry that his girlfriend was tracking him with a GPS. Johnson had several friends vouch for his character in court, while many others submitted letters on his behalf.
“I’m sorry,” Johnson said. “I take full responsibility for my actions.”
Still, it wasn’t enough to get the former fighter a lighter sentence, as Johnson was hoping for three years instead of five. Judge Glenda Allen-Hill pointed to Johnson’s history, which includes him serving 30 days in jail and undergoing alcohol counseling for a different domestic violence incident in 2007.
"It does appear there were times when Mr. Johnson could have stopped this offense," Allen-Hill told the court. "That he could have not inflicted the amount of damage that he inflicted on his victim, but he did not.”
Johnson, 38, hasn’t fought since Sept. 5, 2014, when he was submitted in the first round by Cheick Kongo at Bellator 123. The heavyweight lost five of his last six fights while competing for both Bellator and the UFC. Johnson went 18-10 over the course of professional career that began in 2004.