Middleweight bout: John Howard (+375) vs Uriah Hall (-515) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 26 main card features a middleweight contest between returning veteran John Howard and TUF season 17 finalist Uriah Hall. Howard is a big underdog at +375 ($100 to win $375) while Hall is a big favorite at -515 ($515 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. John Howard (20-8 MMA, 4-3 UFC) returns to the UFC, stepping in on short notice for an injured Josh Samman. Howard had four straight wins in the Octagon that were followed by three consecutive defeats that lead to him getting cut from the organization. Since receiving the pink slip, he has racked up an impressive 6-1 record and has earned his way back to a spot on the UFC roster. John Howard isn’t bad on the ground; he is well versed in the submission game, both offensive and defensive. He possesses dynamite in both hands, as he’s a powerful striker who can put opponents out from any angle. Howard will be making his return in his hometown and will be looking to get another win steak going in the UFC. Howard has nearly three times the experience as his opponent, yet is only one year older. Some might call that an advantage, others might say wear-and-tear. Saturday night will tell the tale. Uriah Hall (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) looks to get his first win in the UFC after suffering a Split Decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum at the Ultimate Fighter 17 finale four months ago. The two other losses on his resume came at the hands of middleweight contender Costa Philipou and current UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman, both in the Ring of Combat promotion. Uriah Hall is a very skilled striker with dangerous knockout power, as he displayed on the television series, sending all opponents from the cage directly to the hospital. He is a beast with a weakness in wrestling. His wrestling needs a lot of work, all around, especially his takedown defense. He does not defend takedowns very well, at all. If John Howard wants to take him down, I think he probably will be able to, unless Hall has drastically improved his takedown defense within the past four months. Hall should look to keep this fight standing and in search for the knockout everybody will be tuning in to see. Fight Prediction: I think Howard will put up a fight but will ultimately come up short, be it a Decision or KO. Both fighters have capable cardio and Howard is tough, so I could see this going all the way to the scorecards. That said, I feel Joe Silva might have set this one up for a highlight reel KO. If Hall loses, it will make him the biggest bust in the history of The Ultimate Fighter. Gabe’s Pick: Uriah Hall by KO (punch, 1:22 round 2) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Uriah Hall -515 — I recommend parlaying it with Joe Lauzon -260 to drop the juice from -515 all the way down to -154. — The Uriah Hall by TKO/KO prop would be worth a bet, also, depending on odds when released. — I was very heavy on Kevin Gastelum over Uriah Hall as a +350 underdog because in my eyes I honestly believed Gastelum was the small favorite going into that match-up. That line was a gift, but such isn’t the case this time. In fact, I think Hall should be at least -700 here. He will have the striking, height, reach, and most importantly; size advantage going into this bout.


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