UFC on Versus 4 fight card: John Howard vs Matt Brown fight for survival

Photo via UFC

There are very few individuals that can lay claim to being an "Octagon warrior" as Bruce Buffer calls them.

When you think about it, who would want to? Prize fighting is a tough gig, one that requires constant discipline and dedication to the craft.

Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz, who will battle for the welterweight title later this year, have both repeatedly stated that their day consists of training and eating and training and sleeping and training.

Making it to the highest level of MMA is a daunting task; maintaining that position once you get there is the ultimate challenge.

Such is the case with 170-pound warmongers John Howard and Matt Brown, who will square off tonight (June 26) at the UFC on Versus 4 event in Pittsburgh.

They're not just fighting each other. They're fighting for their very spot on the seemingly always crowded UFC roster, one that has no room for for hanger-ons.

It's not that Howard and Brown aren't talented; far from it. The issue here is that they've fallen on hard times after showing such promise in the early stages of their Octagon careers.

Howard began his UFC run a perfect 4-0, earning himself "Fight of the Night" honors in his debut bout against Chris Wilson.

He slowly worked his way up to tougher and tougher competition and hit the brick wall when he lost his last two fights, both definitively, to Jake Ellenberger and Thiago Alves respectively.

The tale is largely the same for Brown, who opened his run with the world's largest fight promotion with a 4-1, the lone defeat a close split decision to the undefeated Dong Hyun Kim.

Then, no different than Howard, he ran into the proverbial brick wall, dropping three consecutive fights (all three by submission and all coming in the second round) to three game opponents in Ricardo Almeida, Chris Lytle and Brian Foster.

They've both been given the chance to make a new lease on their life with the promotion, though.

Thing is, it will have to come at the expense of the other. Brown, in particular, has been given the rarely seen fourth fight inside the eight-sided playground after three straight defeats.

Normally, three strikes means you're out.

No doubt, Howard knows this and he will do everything he can to avoid it. And Brown may roll around with the moniker of "The Immortal" but rest assured, he knows he's not.

With the firing squad awaiting just around the corner, there's no question these two will provide the necessary fireworks in attempt to stay on the right side of their employers.

Right?

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