UFC newcomer John Howard is set to make his debut for the promotion against Chris Wilson at UFC 94 on January 31 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The news comes courtesy of a report by MMAjunkie.com.
Wilson, 14-4, has not fought since a unanimous decision victory over Steve Bruno at UFC 87 this past August. Prior to the victory, Wilson had lost his only other UFC bout, a unanimous decision defeat against Jon Fitch during his debut with the promotion at UFC 82 this past March.
Known for being one of the best strikers in the world at 170 pounds, Wilson has also competed for major national promotions such as the now-defunct BodogFIGHT and IFL organizations. During a five-year pro MMA career that began in 2003, he has recorded notable victories over Ray Steinbeiss, Jay Hieron, Rory Markham, and Derrick Noble.
He’ll look to improve his Octagon record to 2-1 against Howard, 10-4, who 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.
Howard also has 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.
UFC 94 will be headlined by Georges St. Pierre defending his title against current UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn. Additional matchups include the return of Stephan Bonnar vs. light heavyweight prospect Jon Jones, Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva, Fitch vs. Akihiro Gono, Clay Guida vs. Nate Diaz, Christian Wellisch vs. Jake O’Brien, Manny Gamburyan vs. Thiago Tavares, and Dan Cramer vs. Matt Arroyo.
A rumored welterweight matchup between Karo Parisyan and Dong Hyun Kim could be added to the card as well.