Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney has announced that they have signed former UFC heavyweight fighter Lavar Johnson.

The heavy-handed former Strikeforce fighter made an immediate impact in the UFC last year with TKO victories over Joey Beltran and Pat Barry, but couldn’t maintain that early momentum, suffering back-to-back losses against Stefan Struve and Brendan Schaub.

Johnson was then released from the UFC after it was discovered that he had elevated levels of testosterone following his fight with Schaub.

So, it’s clear the 36 year-old is slightly damaged goods, but Bellator are in real need of decent heavyweights at this moment in time and Johnson fits the bill.

Speaking of which, in the past week Bellator have also officially confirmed that Cheick Kongo will also be joining their heavyweight division.

The 38 year-old also left the UFC earlier this year after a KO loss to Roy Nelson.

Meanwhile, Bellator’s ninth season premiere tomorrow night has suffered a late blow after former champion and recent ‘Fight Master’ coach Joe Warren had to be pulled from one of the event’s bantamweight semi-finals.

Warren was deemed ineligible to fight on medical grounds, though no specific reason has so far been given for this decision.

An undercard fight between Derek Anderson and Patricky Freire has now been moved up to the show’s main card on Spike TV to fill the space.

Bellator will be hoping to get their new season off to a strong start tomorrow night on Spike TV before the event’s move to their new regular slot on Friday night’s starting from net week.

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Over the years I've watched the UFC develop into the powerhouse it is today, organizations like PRIDE, Strikeforce and WEC rise and fall, and Bellator emerge as a new force on the MMA landscape. Throughout it all I've remained captivated by the sport and I'm excited to cover what comes next here on MMA Insight.

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