John "Doomsday" Howard: I'm Looking To Bang with the Best

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On Sunday, welterweight mixed-martial artist John "Doomsday" Howard hopes to extend his winning streak within the organization as he takes on Jake Ellenberger at the San Diego Sports Arena, which will play host to UFC on Versus 2: Jones vs. Matyushenko.

Since making his UFC debut, Howard (18-4 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has put together four consecutive wins. The first two were by way of split decision against Chris Wilson and Tamdan McCrory at UFC 94: St-Pierre vs Penn 2 and UFC 101: Declaration, respectively.

Following the two close wins, Howard ended things in a more decisive manner, as he knocked out Dennis Hallman with five seconds remaining in their bout on TUF 10 finale.

He followed that up with one of his career's most explosive performances, in which he needed just a tick over two minutes to vanquish Daniel Roberts on the UFC's first-ever live show on the Versus network.

The impressive performance against Roberts earned him knockout of the night honors for the event, and gave him another opportunity to showcase his talent on the Versus Network.

Howard, the Boston born fighter, recently took some time out of his schedule to give Bleacher Report some insight as to how things are progressing with his upcoming bout against Ellenberger, as well as his past and future in the MMA world.

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"With Ellenberger, I'm looking at a guy who has a strong wrestling background. So I have spent a lot of time working on my wrestling skills... Ellenberger is a real tough guy... I'll be ready for anything he throws at me. If he wants to wrestle, we can do that, and if he wants to stand and bang, we can see who's still left standing at the end," Howard revealed.

Just as he did in his last performance, the fighter known as "Doomsday" would love to not only end the fight early but pick up a bonus while doing so.

"It's a great thing to walk away from a fight with a knockout of the night or fight of the night honor. It's a great thing for me and my career, and the fans appreciate it too."

As previously mentioned, his most recent bout with Daniel Roberts earned him the knockout of the night bonus and had the crowd in a frenzy as the referee called a halt to the bout.  

While it turned out to be a great night for Howard, it's a fight that almost didn't happen as he was originally slated to take on Anthony "Rumble" Johnson before Johnson was forced to withdraw from the bout with an injury. While the fight never came to fruition, Howard made it clear that it's a bout that still interests him.

"I'd without a doubt love to fight Johnson. Ever since his name was mentioned as an opponent, I had been looking forward to getting him in the same cage as me. There was a lot of talking leading up to that fight. Plain and simple, I just don't like the guy and he doesn't like me. I would love to take him on anytime and anywhere."

As "Doomsday" prepares for his UFC main card debut, he also looks to score his eighth consecutive win. His last loss came back in November in 2007 when he dropped a close but unanimous decision to Dan Miller.  

Of the four losses that Howard has experienced in his career, he feels strongly that the dust up with Miller is the one loss he would most like to avenge.

"On top of the whole East Coast rivalry with him being from New Jersey and me coming from Boston, it was just a real tough fight. It was a real close decision that ended up in his favor. I think I've improved a whole lot from the Miller fight and would do whatever it takes to be able to get another shot at him."

But as it stands now, Miller is facing hard times in the middleweight division while Howard's stock continues to soar as a welterweight. A solid win over the slightly favored Ellenberger would be just what Howard needs to add his name to the top contenders for Georges St-Pierre's welterweight crown.

"I think with a win over Ellenberger and maybe two more good wins after that, I will be right in contention for the title. One guy that I'd like to face in the future would be Matt Hughes. A win over him, along with another solid win, and I feel that I would have done enough to prove that I can bang with the best of 'em."

John Howard turned heads in March as he iced Daniel Roberts. A future win over Matt Hughes (who fights Ricardo Almeida at UFC 117) would definitely do its part to bolster his career.

But for now, as he takes on Jake Ellenberger this Sunday, he's ready to show the MMA world that Doomsday will soon be upon us.

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