UFC signs on John "Doomsday" Howard
Date: 2008-12-10 10:00:00
Submitted By: MMA Fight Dump
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has signed top Northeast welterweight and one-time International Fight League fighter Josh "Doomsday" Howard (10-4 MMA, 0-0 UFC) to a four-fight deal. Howard's manager, Joshua Benton of Strategic Sports Management, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) of the signing. The welterweight fighter will likely debut at a Jan. 31 UFC 94 event in Las Vegas, though Benton said the fight is still in the process of being finalized. The signing adds further depth to the UFC's already-stacked 170-pound division. "The UFC doesn't have a division more difficult than 170," said Benton, a longtime promoter of regional fighters who launched Strategic Sports Management earlier this year. In addition to the IFL, where he scored a third-round TKO of then-undefeated Nick Calandrino earlier this year, Howard has competed in popular Northeast organizations such as Ring of Combat and Cage Fury Fighting Championships during his four-year career. Although the accomplished ground fighter won his first six fights -- five via submission -- Benton said that Howard has transformed into a well-rounded fighter. "He's been fighting and training for a very long time," Benton said. "Over the past couple of years, his Muay Thai has gotten really good. His boxing has gotten good. For a long time, he was considered a ground fighter, but he's transitioned into a good stand-up fighter, too." Howard's UFC deal represents Strategic Sports Management's first major signing, though Benton admits he's "not really in it for the money now." "We started the the business to help the local guys who wanted to train full-time, needed help with sponsorship money, and maybe make more money with their fight purses," he said. "My partner at the company, Brian (Kenney), and I have political contacts in Boston and have been able to hook up the fighters with some bigger businesses (for sponsorships)." Howard, who walks around at about 190 pounds, is currently riding a three-fight win streak. His only career losses have come to two current UFC fighters (Dan Miller and Nick Catone), and Alexandre Moreno (7-1) and Woody Weatherby (7-2).