Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran John Howard is making his return to the UFC. He will go up against middleweight Uriah Hall (7-3) at UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen at Boston’s TD Garden. The Boston Herald first reported the new match up and UFC officials confirmed the change.
Howard (20-8) replaced Josh Samman who pulled out of the fight due to injury. Samman originally replaced Nick Ring in this fight after Ring had a social security number issue.
Howard fought in the UFC from 2009 to 2011. He was unbeaten in his first four fights in the promotion, but dropped three consecutive fights to Matt Brown, Thiago Alves and Jake Ellenberger. He was released from the UFC after his loss to Brown in 2011.
After the UFC, he won 6-of-his-last-7 fights in Classic Entertainment and Sports MMA. He is the current CES MMA middleweight champion. The Boston native has expressed his wish to return to the UFC and it came true.
Hall was a favorite on season 17 of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Unfortunately for Hall, he lost to Kelvin Gastelum in The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale via decision in April. He appeared off his game against Gastelum compared to some of the vicious finishes he had during his “TUF” season.
UFC Fight Night 26 will air live on Fox Sports 1 on Aug. 17, 2013. Former light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua versus Chael Sonnen will be the headline fight for UFC Fight Night 26.