Lavar “Big” Jonson (pictured) will be doing some big time behind bars. On Friday, the former UFC and Bellator heavyweight was sentenced to five years in prison for brutally assaulting his girlfriend of seven years last August.
According to ABC 30, Johnson admitted he had beat his girlfriend in hopes of receiving a three-year sentence. The 38-year-old said he got upset because his girlfriend had been tracking his whereabouts with a GPS. Johnson also said that consuming large amounts of alcohol didn’t help matters.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I take full responsibility for my actions.”
Johnson initially plead not guilty and was held on $120,000 bond. He never made bail and remained behind bars since his arrest. He was physically a shell of the massive slugger MMA fans had come to know as he stood in a red jumpsuit.
Johnson’s girlfriend informed authorities that the heavyweight slammed her against the wall and ground, kneed her in the face and head multiple times and punched her in the face 11 times.
When police arrived on the scene, Johnson was long gone but his girlfriend’s face was clearly bloodied and bruised.
She reportedly required staples to close one of the lacerations.
Cops eventually got a hold of Johnson and arrested him for felony assault with a deadly weapon (his fists), among other felonies.
Three people testified on Johnson’s behalf, hoping the Fresno judge would show their friend some leniency. “Countless” letters were also submitted to the judge expressing how much of a standup guy Johnson is.
Johnson’s attorney said Friday that his client has been distraught since the incident went down.
“He was very emotional,” attorney Gerald Schwab said. “He’s emotional about the whole situation. The people that came in to talk to him have known him and loved him like a brother.”
He holds a 18-10 professional record, but hasn’t been seen since getting submitted by Cheick Kongo in September 2014 at Bellator 124.