Injury woes are plaguing former TUF Contestant Josh Samman (10-2) once again. Uriah Hall‘s (7-3) scheduled bout with Samman will be scrapped as he sees his opponent changed for the second time.
Samman’s loss will become John “Doomsday” Howard‘s gain as the Boston native steps in to fill the vacant slot against Hall on the UFC on Fox Sports 1 card set for Aug. 17 in Beantown.
Howard (20-8, 4-3 UFC), gets a rare opportunity to return to the UFC after a three-fight slide that ended with a loss to Matt Brown in June of 2011. Despite Howard’s gritty and gutsy performances in the cage over the course of his losing streak, the UFC put him on the chopping block. Since his departure he’s gone 6-1 in regional circuits with his only loss coming against Leandro Silva (20-7).
Fighting in front of a home crowd against an opponent with much less experience is sure to work in Howard’s favor as he faces the most important job interview of his MMA career. Hall has a dynamic striking style, but Howard is no slouch on his feet either.
Howard will be aiming to prove he belongs back in the UFC while Hall will be trying to keep himself relevant in the organization after losing The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale to Kelvin Gastelum (6-0). The fight with Samman would have been slated for that finale if Gastelum didn’t upset Samman in the semi-finals.
Both fighters will battle for their future in the UFC in a true grudge match here. Howard should be the clear winner on paper, but he can’t underestimate the talent and drive of a young, hungry Hall. Even though the reality show stopped taping a long time ago, both of these competitors are still basically fighting for a UFC contract, so it should definitely be an exciting contest.