For some fighters, making it to the UFC is a goal they have wanted to achieve all of their life. The only problem with making it to the UFC is that you need to stay there once you make it. For a lot of fighters, they make it to the UFC, and then they get released. Once they are released they stay at the regional level and you never see them again. For John Howard, it is the exact opposite.

Howard experienced the pain of being released from the UFC after a three-fight losing streak. He then went 6-1 outside of the UFC before getting a return call. Howard talked about his up and down career and making it back to the UFC.

“My career has been really interesting,” Howard told The MMA Corner. “It has been up and down and it has been a crazy life experience. I did not think I would make it to the UFC, but also, I did no think I would fight in other countries. It is amazing what MMA has done for me. It has just been and up and down roller coaster, man. It was a crazy situation getting kicked out and then getting brought back in. Honestly, I am just happy to get back in. Some guys get kicked out of the UFC and never get back in. I am just real fortunate to come back and do what I am doing. It is an honor to do that. It has been a roller coaster, but I am just enjoying it. I am just enjoying the moment right now.”

Howard was enjoying the moment back in the UFC, as he won his first two fights back in the best fighting organization in the world, but then Howard went on a three-fight losing streak. Some were wondering if Howard could recover, but Howard just like before, recovered to win a much-needed fight against Cathal Pendred at UFC 189. Howard talked about his much needed victory at UFC 189 to stop his three-fight losing streak.

“It was one of those feelings that I needed to get,” said Howard. “It was just great man, you know, three losses in a row can really mess with you, man. It sucks, but sometimes you go through hard times. I am just real happy that I was able to get the win.”

Howard should be happy he was able to get the win because a loss could have resulted in another release from the UFC, but instead, he won and got something even better. Dana White and Joe Silva felt strongly about Howard’s return to the UFC, with a 3-3 record since returning, and gave him a new four-fight contract. This was a huge moment for Howard and his career. He was kicked out, brought back in, and now signed back to a new four-fight contract. Howard talked about the new contract he had received.

“They gave me a four-fight contract, man,” said Howard. “I was so happy. I was so happy they wanted to keep me. Joe Silva and Dana White see that I still have potential to do big things in there. I was so honored and so excited. It was one of the best feelings to get a new contract because my career has been so up and down. It was just the best feeling ever.”

Howard talked more about his new UFC contract and what he credits to his return to the UFC.

“I went back to training harder,” said Howard. “Honestly, I said to myself, ‘I do not think I am done.’ I wanted to prove to myself that I deserve to be here. I pushed myself and the UFC saw that. It was just a blessing.”

Howard has had his ups and downs in his career, but one of the most memorable events in his career may have happened recently. It has nothing to do with an actual fight in the UFC, but it deals with former UFC veteran Pat Walsh pulling, what I am calling, one of the best pranks ever pulled. Howard explained how the prank went from his perspective.

“Pat Walsh pulled the craziest prank to ever be pulled,” laughed Howard. “He wanted to do a skit and I said I would be part of it. It was all fun and games. Some guy came in and said he was a street fighter and he wants to fight now. Walsh said we do not do that get out of my gym. The guy said something stupid like he would be back. We go back to the skit and the guy comes back with what looked like a gun and shoots Pat. The guy looks at me and then runs to the door. I was kind of confused and then I took control. I told everybody to call the police and somebody to watch the door. I got to Pat to make sure he was okay.”

He was bleeding and I was wondering if he was okay,” Howard said. “Then, Pat pulled me aside and told me to do him a favor and make sure the gym stays open. I told him sure and don’t worry about that because he is shot and then he told me to make sure I teach two times a week. I looked at him like okay, something is off, but I guess people say weird stuff when they are shot. Then he gets up and moves his hand and there is nothing there. Oh my goodness, man. It was so messed up. I told them they all play too much sometimes and they are crazy.”

Walsh planned his prank perfectly and poor Howard had no clue. It was well designed and would be hard to match. However, Howard talked about if he will get Walsh back.

“Nothing is planned yet, but I will,” laughed Howard. I have something I can pull out of my sleeve and I will get him back!”

All jokes aside, Howard is ready to make this stint in the UFC one to remember. After his three-fight losing streak, Howard finally got back in the win column and that is where he wants to stay. Howard talked about what he wants to do this time around in the UFC.

“I want to be a UFC champion, most definitely,” said Howard. “Obviously I need to string some wins together and get that rolling, but once I get enough wins I want the opportunity to win the title.”

About The Author

Jeremy Klump
Interview Coordinator / Video Manager

Jeremy Klump is a Sport Media major at Ithaca College and has been writing about Mixed Martial Arts for over a year now. He interned at MVC Sports Management and AMA Fight Club. While interning at MVC and AMA, Jeremy found out that he had a true passion for writing about Mixed Martial Arts. He has interviewed and wrote articles on top UFC fighters while also having knowledge of regional fighters and the top new comers. He looks to grow as a writer and expand his knowledge of Mixed Martial Arts while being a proud member of The MMA Corner team.