• UFC 146

Johnson steps in for injured Hunt against Struve

ESPN staff
May 18, 2012
Stefan Struve has a new opponent © Getty Images

Stefan Struve will now face Lavar Johnson at UFC 146, after original opponent Mark Hunt was forced to pull out because of injury.

Hunt was due to face Struve in Las Vegas on May 26, but has been forced to pull out with barely a week until the fight as a result of a knee injury. Johnson will now step in, as he bids to press his claim to be one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division.

Johnson won his most recent fight - by TKO against Pat Barry - at the start of the month, and will now step straight back into the Octagon.

Struve, 24, has won four of his past five fights - with the only defeat coming against Travis Browne.

The news is a setback for Hunt, who was briefly in the running for UFC 146's headline contest against Junior Dos Santos - before Frank Mir was selected to replace Alistair Overeem instead.

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