With the The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 debut still a few weeks away, plans are already in motion for the finale show set for June and the first matchup has been confirmed as rising star, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, will look to keep his current wave of success rolling as he faces John Howard in a welterweight bout on the card.
The news was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight on Monday.
After avenging a controversial loss to Kevin Burns in December, Johnson returned in February where he took out American Top Team fighter LuigiFioravanti in the first round of their bout on the Spike TV card.
Always active and never looking to take much time off, Johnson will showcase his considerable skills once again in June as he takes on Howard, who earned a "Fight of the Night" bonus for his first performance in the Octagon in January.
An IFL and Ring of Combat veteran, Howard makes his second appearance in the UFC in June with the fighter currently on a four-fight win streak.
Howard has faced a number of talented fighters before he ever made it to the UFC, and he relied on that experience to get a split decision win over Team Quest fighter Chris Wilson in his debut fight for the promotion.
The bout between Johnson and Howard will likely make the television broadcast which will also crown the two newest champions for The Ultimate Fighter.