John Howard, one of the top welterweight prospects on the East Coast, has reportedly signed a four-fight contract with the UFC and could make his Octagon debut at UFC 94 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The news was first reported by MMAjunkie.com, which cited Howard’s manager, Joshua Benton of Strategic Sports Management, as the source for the story.
As of now, Howard’s first opponent has yet to be finalized.
Howard, 10-4, has made a name for himself by competing for top East Coast-based regional promotions such as Lou Neglia’s Ring of Combat and the now-defunct Cage Fury Fighting Championship. However, Howard does have one fight for a national promotion under his belt, having fought for the International Fight League during its final event this past May in Connecticut.
Facing Nick Caladrino, who was 5-0 at the time, Howard was victorious in his one and only IFL fight after winning via TKO at 2:24 of round 3. His most recent bout took place Ring of Combat 21 in September, where he recorded a unanimous decision victory over former ShoXC veteran Charlie Brenneman. Brenneman also holds the distinction of being the first-ever winner of Spike TV’s Pros vs. Joes sports reality television competition.
Howard has also fought and lost to Dan Miller and Nick Catone, both of whom currently reside on the UFC’s roster. Both defeats were via decision.