Bahadurzada vs. Howard hit UFC 168

Bahadurzada rebounds from injury, while Howard returns to the welterweight division.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.


A welterweight bout has been added to UFC 168 that will pit Afghani knockout artist Siyar Bahadurzada against Boston native John Howard in his return to 170 pounds.

It's been a strange, long trip for Bahadurzada thus far in his UFC career because while he has been signed to the promotion for over two years, he's only fought twice thus far due to various injuries that have kept him out of action.

Most recently, Bahadurzada was expected to face fellow slugger Robbie Lawler at UFC On FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga, but just weeks after the announcement he suffered an injury and was forced back to the sidelines.

Now returned to full health, Bahadurzada will look to get back in the Octagon for one more fight this year while also attempting to wash out the bad taste from his last bout when he lost by unanimous decision to Dong Hyun Kim at UFC on FUEL TV: Silva vs. Stann in March.

Standing in his way will be John Howard, who returns to the welterweight division after several fights competing at 185 pounds. Howard's previous stint in the UFC ended after he went 4-3 overall, but dropped his last three in a row.

Following his exit from the promotion, Howard moved up to middleweight where he amassed a record of 6-1 before returning with a win over former Ultimate Fighter finalist Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen.

Now Howard will drop back down to the welterweight division for his next bout at UFC 168 where he faces Bahadurzada while trying to pick up his second victory in a row since returning to the Octagon.

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