On the third time of asking, Uriah Hall (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) finally has an opponent for his first fight since losing TUF 17. Returning to the UFC after a torrid run is John Howard (20-8 MMA, 4-3 UFC), who gets his wish for a UFC fight in his hometown of Boston, MA.
Howard is giving up 5 inches in height and 8 inches of reach, but those physical disadvantages didn't stop Kelvin Gastelum from upsetting Hall. This is a doubly important fight for Uriah, whose hype and promise took a big hit this past April, and he'll look to get his first official UFC win in impressive fashion. The UFC Fight Night main card airs live on Fox Sports 1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Hall: 29 years old | 6'0" | 80" reach
Howard: 30 years old | 5'7" | 72" reach
What have these two done recently?
Hall: L - Kelvin Gastelum (SD) | W - Nodar Kuduxashvili (UD) | W -Daniel Akinyemi (SUB)
Howard: W - Chris Woodall (KO) | W - Jason Louck (KO) | L - Leandro Silva (UD)
How did these two get here?
Uriah Hall's time on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter garnered significant media attention. The 29-year-old had produced a string of highlight reel moments, most notably a spinning kick KO of Adam Cella in the opening round of the show. With stoppages of Bubba McDaniel and Dylan Andrews added to his growing list of victims, he was expected to run roughshod over Kelvin Gastelum. That would not be the case, as Gastelum edged out Hall by split decision to win the tournament. The loss, particularly the perceived tepid effort, has decreased his hype significantly. Since then, Hall has switched camps from Tiger Schulmann's in New York to Reign Training Center, home of middleweight contender Mark Munoz.
"Doomsday" started his UFC career with a 4-0 record, the most memorable moment came when he knocked out Dennis Hallman with 5 seconds left in the final round of a fight he was well on his way to losing. The great start soon turned south, as he lost his next 3 fights and found himself out of the UFC. Howard returned to middleweight after his release, and he's been on a roll, with 6 wins in his last 7 fights and 4 KO/TKO victories. His UFC return came as a result of an injury to Josh Samman, who had already replaced Nick Ring, so it'll be interesting to see if he can continue his impressive form as he enters the Octagon once more.
Why should you care?
It's two guys with a thirst for the finish taking each other on. Howard will also have the hometown crowd behind him as he makes his UFC return.