MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: John Howard Returns To UFC...To Fight Uriah Hall
Be careful what you wish for.
Former UFC welterweight John Howard, who racked up a 4-3 record in the Octagon before being cut after three-straight losses, is returning to the UFC, a goal of his and something he deserved after winning six of seven fights on the regional circuit.
But his return fight is a toughie.
The UFC today confirmed that Howard will fill in for an injured Josh Samman and take on Uriah Hall at UFC on FOX Sports 1 1, which is set to take place Aug. 17 at TD Center in Boston, MA.
The bout will be a part of the evening's main card.
I like Howard and I'm glad he's back in the UFC but this is an extremely tough matchup for him in his return to the Octagon and I don't think he's going to beat Hall. Although I think that Hall is overrated, the truth is he's a more varied standup fighter than Howard, who is primarily a boxer, and this is a fight that I believe is likely to stay standing. As well, the fact that Hall has had a full training camp while Howard is only going to get a month to prepare scares me off as well.
After the loss to Kelvin Gastelum in the TUF 17 finals, I think the public is going to be a bit down on Hall in this fight. But I still believe he deserves to be a -400 or so favorite with the comeback on Howard about +300. So if we can get Hall for anything less than 4-to-1, I believe he's worth a play in a parlay with some of the other big favorites on the card.
Drysdale Out, Barroso In At UFC 163
Disappointing news today as BJJ ace Robert Drysdale has been forced to pull out of his upcoming UFC 163 bout against Ednaldo Oliveira due to staph infection and in his place will be newcomer Francimar Barroso.
News of the new matchup was confirmed by TATAME.com.
I don't know much about Barroso but I'm very sad we won't get to see Drysdale work his magic in the Octagon this summer. As for the fight between Barroso and Oliveira, I guess you'd have to lean Oliveira due to his experience in the UFC, but to me this fight is one that screams pass since we don't know much about either guy. I'm guessing the line opens with Oliveira as the slight favorite.
Iaquinta Replaces Mulhern Vs. Couture
And one more injury to report as Quinn Mulhern his out of his UFC 164 fight agains Ryan Couture and now Couture will face Al Iaquinta in a likely 'loser leaves the UFC' matchup.
This is another even fight in my eyes and I believe it's a true Pick 'em. I won't be betting it since I'm not confident in either guy at all but since Couture does have submissions and Iaquinta has been submitted before, I'll lean him slightly for the pick. But again, this is not a fight I will bet.