John Howard Continues Climb Back Up UFC Ranks After Tough String Of Losses

by NESN Staff

December 9, 2015

Three fights, three losses, the last of which was the worst of John Howard?s career. And his first-round TKO defeat at the hands of Lorenz Larkin in January 2015 came in his hometown of Boston, no less. So as he stepped into the Octagon to meet Cathal Pendred in July, ?Doomsday? had his back against the wall.

?A little bit,? he said. ?The pressure was definitely on me, having three losses in a row.?

Howard isn?t one to go quietly into the night though. Three defeats to Jake Ellenberger, Thiago Alves and Matt Brown in 2010-11 got him cut from the UFC, but wins in six of his next seven bouts earned him another stint in the promotion. And who could forget his 2009 fight with Dennis Hallman, when he beat ?Superman? with five ticks left on the clock in a match he was about to lose on the scorecards?

?The funny part is, it actually ended like the Doomsday-Superman story,? Howard said. ?Dennis Hallman was winning the whole fight. He took my back, he was outgrappling me and in the last five seconds I knocked him out. It was crazy.?

Coming back from this losing streak needed to be an even more impressive feat, but with the world watching the UFC 189 card in Las Vegas, he pulled it off, giving his career a jolt of new life with a split decision victory over Pendred. Now he could exhale.

?I’m just really happy I got the win, but you know what I discovered?? Howard asks. ?The reason why my career’s been up and down and why I’m losing to people I should never have lost to, I think it was because of my camp. I never had a pro top-tier camp. Sityodtong and Mark DellaGrotte have a high-level camp, and it’s been amazing. You can see the difference in the professionalism and the way they train people. The stuff I’m doing, I’m a way better athlete now.?

Click to read more on Howard at UFC.com >>

Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via UFC's John Howard
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