After John Howard reportedly declined an opportunity to take on rising welterweight prospect Anthony Johnson during a televised bout to take place at the live finale for the upcoming ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter, Matt Brown has stepped up and accepted the matchup.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com learned of the potential matchup early Tuesday and received word later in the evening from multiple sources close to the fight that both Johnson and Brown had verbally consented to the fight. Bout agreements could be formally signed within the coming days. MMAWeekly.com has also reported the Johnson vs. Brown matchup.
Brown, a former regional journeyman who earned his way into the UFC after a strong showing during the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter, just recently improved his overall record in the UFC to 3-1 earlier this month at UFC 96.
Facing TUF 4 veteran Pete Sell, Brown was dominant in needing just one minute and 32 seconds to dispose of the native New York via TKO due to punches. According to many pundits, Brown’s reign of dominance over Sell should have been called to a stop much earlier in the fight.
Prior to Brown’s win over Sell, the Bowersville, Ohio native had submitted Ryan Thomas with an armbar at 0:57 of round 2 during a non-televised undercard bout at UFC 91 this past November.
Brown’s struggle to become a UFC contracted fighter was recently chronicled in a full-length feature on CBSSports.com.
For Brown’s opponent, Johnson, his rise through the UFC ranks has been relatively smooth. The Colorado native made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 10 in just his fourth pro fight. Johnson needed all of 10 seconds to knockout Chad Reiner.
Johnson then suffered a minor setback at UFC 76 against Rich Clementi when he was submitted in the second round by a rear naked choke. However, he bounced back at UFC Fight Night 13 last April with a stunning knockout over TUF 6 welterweight runner-up Tommy Speer in just 51 seconds.
Johnson most recently competed at UFC Fight Night 17, where he won his second consecutive bout following a TKO over former U.S. Marine Luigi Fioravanti at 4:39 of round 1.
The TUF 9 finale will be the culmination of the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter with which will pit eight fighters from the U.S. coached by Dan Henderson against eight fighters from the U.K. being led by Michael Bisping. Bisping and Henderson are scheduled to fight at UFC 100 on July 11.
In addition to the welterweight and lightweight finals being televised during the Spike TV broadcast, the event will be headlined by a lightweight matchup featuring former TUF winners Nate Diaz and Joe Stevenson going head-to-head. FiveOuncesOfPain.com was also the first to report an undercard matchup between welterweights Brad Blackburn and Edgar Garcia.