On August 17th, the UFC will bring the Octagon back to Boston for the second time in the promotion’s history. Generally speaking, it makes sense for promotions to put their local superstars in the cage to boost ticket sales that much further than they would already be. Local favorites such as Joe Lauzon and Mike Brown are set to fight on the card, along with UFC newcomer Conor McGregor, an Irishman who will inhabit a city with deep Irish roots.

But missing from this card is another local fighter, John Howard. Howard went 4-3 in the UFC prior to his release in 2011, finishing two of those fights by knockout. Although many fighters have promotional records similar to that of “Doomsday,” the fact that the three losses came in consecutive bouts left him in the same boat as other fighters who have dropped three straight—which is off of the promotion’s roster.

Being released by the UFC didn’t stop Howard, however. The Wai Kru fighter put his head down and pushed forward, winning six of his next seven fights in smaller promotions, including winning Rhode Island’s Classic Entertainment and Sports middleweight title and defending it four times. In each of his fights with CES, Howard has not needed to see a third round, winning the fight by stoppage each time. The most recent victory was against Chris Woodall, who he knocked out just before the halfway mark of the first round.

If the UFC were to bring him back aboard, it wouldn’t be the first time that the promotion has granted a second chance to a fighter after an impressive string of fights on the local scene. Time after time, we have seen fighters like Jay Hieron and John Alessio get re-signed by the promotion, and with the Bostonian going 6-1 in his post-Octagon career—and with the timing being perfect for the local favorite to realize a dream and fight for the UFC in Boston—it is time for the UFC to bring Howard back.

Considering the UFC has made it official that the fight card for UFC on Fox Sports 1 1 is set, it would be surprising to see a headline where “Doomsday” is announced for the card, but honestly, he deserves it. Anyone who follows him on Twitter knows the effort he puts forth campaigning to UFC President Dana White to get him on the card, sending out messages of his own along with retweeting others who have done the same.

Maybe it is a pipe dream to get a local guy like Howard, who has paid his dues outside of the Octagon, to make his way back into it on a card such as this one. But without a doubt, he has done what is necessary to get himself onto this card, or at least re-signed with the promotion. Whether or not it comes in the form of an injury replacement, “Doomsday” deserves a spot on UFC on Fox Sports 1 1.

Photo: John Howard (top) (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

About The Author

Brian McKenna
Staff Writer

Brian McKenna was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. A sports nut from as long as he can remember, he came to be a fan of Mixed Martial Arts from a roommate watching The Ultimate Fighter while attending Westfield State College. Brian came to writing by starting his own blog, Four Down Territory, which focuses on Boston based sports, life, and of course MMA.