In a classic good news/bad news tale, one fighter is off the UFC on Fox Sports 1 Boston card, and another fighter returns to the promotion after two years away.
Josh Samman has been removed from the August 17 fight card, and John Howard will replace Samman and face Uriah Hall.
Mark Daniels of The Boston Herald first reported the switch. Samman was not Hall’s original opponent; he replaced Nick Ring, who was pulled from the card after an issue with Social Security numbers arose.
It will be a hometown fight for Howard, a native of Boston. Howard (20-8) fought for the UFC seven times between 2009 and 2011. During that stretch, he went 4-3, opening his stint with four consecutive victories. His three losses were to Jake Ellenberger, Thiago Alves and Matt Brown.
After leaving the UFC, Howard went 6-1 with smaller promotions. Five of his six victories came via knockout, with his most recent win being a first-round knockout of Chris Woodall. The win was in defense of Howard’s CES middleweight title.
Hall (7-3) is coming off an upset defeat in his last bout. He was favored over Kelvin Gastelum in the finale fight of The Ultimate Fighter 17 but suffered a split-decision loss. Hall’s other defeats came as a member of Ring of Combat, losing to current UFC competitors Costa Philippou and UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
UFC on Fox Sports 1 will be headlined by a light heavyweight contest between Chael Sonnen and former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua. The fight card will take place at Boston’s TD Garden on August 17.