Johnson Says Howard “Backed Out” of TUF9 Finale Fight

Anthony Johnson. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

According to Anthony Johnson, he doesn’t have an opponent anymore for his scheduled fight at The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale in June. John Howard, whom Johnson was supposed to face, has reportedly “backed out” of the fight for reasons that Johnson isn’t aware of.

From The MMA Fiend via Johnson’s recent interview with the Sports Action Network:

I was supposed to fight John Howard for the Ultimate Fighter Finale, but supposedly he backed out, so uh, I don’t know. I don’t know why he backed out, you know, he’s a fighter, he fights for the UFC, he shouldn’t back out of any fight. But it’s up to him. If he don’t think he’s ready for the competition don’t sign up for the UFC, you know what I mean?

The rumor was that Dustin Hazelett would be stepping in to face Johnson, but many have pointed out that he’s recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL. (Remember he was scheduled to face Ben Saunders at UFC 96?) He’ll probably be out for the rest of the year. The Fiend also notes that Howard’s decision to pull out of the fight may have something to do with his contract, which has him making $5,000 to show and $5,000 to win and is standard for a UFC newcomer without much prior experience, but nothing has been confirmed.


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