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April 9, 2013

Howard puts win streak - and future - on the line Friday against dangerous vet Louck

[CES Press Release]

LINCOLN, R.I. (April 8th, 2013) -- John "Doomsday" Howardknows he could get that phone call any day now, making each fight bigger than the last.

A return to the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) seems inevitable for the Boston native, but nothing's guaranteed, not even with the UFC returning to his hometown in August for the launch of the Fox Corporation's all-sports network, FOX Sports 1, which means his upcoming fight on Friday night is another "must-win" bout as he continues his climb to the top of the middleweight division.

On Friday, April 12th, Howard (18-7, 7 KOs) will step back into the cage to face the dangerous Jason Louck (16-10, 7 KOs) of Davenport, Iowa, on the undercard of Jimmy Burchfield's Classic Entertainment & Sports' "Path To Destruction" mixed martial arts show at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln, R.I.

Louck is similar to Howard in that he presses the action; he won't try to run and hide, which is exactly what "Doomsday" wants once the bell rings Friday night.

"This fight is perfect," said Howard, who has won four consecutive bouts since the UFC released him in 2011. "He comes forward, and I come forward. He won't back down.

"I love fighters who are like pit bulls; it makes for a better fight. I hate chasing guys around the cage. I want contact. I want to fight. I don't back up a lot. If you hit me, I'll hit you harder. If you don't drop me, I'll keep going."

Another win Friday could earn Howard a spot on the UFC's next show in Boston, but no matter where he goes from here, he'll be wearing his CES colors; Howard and Burchfield joined forces shortly after the UFC cut Howard following his fourth consecutive loss in 2011. Since then, Howard has won his last four bouts and become CES' reigning middleweight champion after beating Todd Chattelle in April of 2012. Friday will mark 364 days since Howard captured the belt.

"I'm hoping to get that phone call in the summertime, but, like I've always said, I want CES in my corner," Howard said. "I've never had a big promotional company take care of me the way they have. That's what I've been looking for my entire career. If I have them in my corner, I know my career is on the right path."

Howard has made it clear he's been in no rush to get back to the UFC. He's been more focused on sharpening his skills to make sure his second run lasts much longer than the first. Just weeks after celebrating his 30th birthday, the timing appears to be perfect for another shot at the big stage; over the past year and a half, Howard has become a more complete fighter, which could benefit him inside the cage if and when he gets he call.

"I went back to the basics," Howard said. "I went back to my Jiu-Jitsu and my Muay Thai and my wrestling. I got too knockout-happy in the UFC. The pressure can get to you. Once you make your presence felt, you try to keep up with that. You can't fight everyone the same way or knock everyone out.

"I'm a true MMA fighter now."

While Howard is aiming for his fifth consecutive win, Louck is looking to start a streak of his own; the 29-year-old Iowa native hasn't won since August of 2011 and has lost three of his last four. He's also in search of his first knockout win in five years, which will be a tall task against Howard, who hasn't been stopped since 2010.

"Training is intense and exhausting, but that's what makes great fights," Louck said. "I'm honored to fight a great stand-up fighter with such power and explosive ground-and-pound as John Howard. I'm looking forward to the war!"

Physically and mentally, Howard is as ready as he's ever been, not just for Friday's opponent, but for the possibility of what his future might have in store.

"I feel like I could run a marathon," he said. "If I do get that phone call, I want to be in shape just in case, but I know I can't look at that now. I have to get over the hump on Friday first and this guy [Louck] is no slouch."

The main event of "Path To Destruction" is a rematch between the Pawtucket, R.I., native Chattelle (11-8, 8 KOs) and Dennis Olson (12-7, 1 KO) of Amherst, N.H. The undercard features nine bouts, including Rhode Island natives Shaun Marmas (4-4, 1 KO) of Coventry and Providence's Thomas Evans (2-1), who will face one another in a three-round featherweight bout.

The show-stopper might be the highly-anticipated featherweight bout between Lucas Cruz (6-0, 2 KOs) and Rob Font (5-1, 1 KO), two Boston natives who will battle for bragging rights, along with regional supremacy in the 145-pound division.

Also on the undercard, TriForce's Keenan Raymond will debut against Northborough, Mass., lightweight Jay Bakanowski (1-1); Kody Norby (3-0) of Woonsocket, R.I., will put his unbeaten record on the line against flyweight Jimmy Grant (3-1) of Carlstadt, N.J.; and welterweight Toby Oden (1-0) of Milford, Mass., will return against Jersey City veteran Emmanuel Walo (2-1).

Fan-favorite Dinis Paiva Jr. (3-3, 1 KO) of East Providence, R.I., will also be back in action searching for his third consecutive win against Cambridge, Mass., native Kin Moy (2-0); and Massachusetts nativesMatt Doherty (1-0, 1 KO) of Salem and Whitman's Johnny Campbell(5-4, 3 KOs) will square off in a bantamweight bout. Unbeaten lightweight Nate Andrews (3-0, 1 KO) will face Asa Zorn (0-1) of Salem, Conn.

Tickets for "Path To Destruction" are $36.00, $56.00, $101.00 and $126.00 and can be purchased by calling CES at 401.724.2253/2254, online at or, at the Players Club booth at Twin River, or through any TicketMaster location. Doors open 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7.

(Twin River has waived its 18+ rule for "Path To Destruction." Anybody under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult and must enter through the West entrance).

- CES -