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UFC 168: John Howard Vs. Siyar Bahadurzada

John Howard vs. Siyar Bahadurzada

We’ll remain in the welterweight division with John Howard (21-8) taking on Siyar Bahadurzada (21-5-1).

Howard returned to the UFC after a two-year exile with a decision victory over Uriah Hall this past August. Bahadurzada had his seven-fight win streak snapped by Dong Hyun Kim in March.

Round 1: Howard moving and picking well, avoiding the power of Bahadurzada. Big high kick by Bahadurzada, but Howard blocks it. Bahadurzada just misses with a huge right off a counter, and Howard is well short on his attacks. Another miss by Howard and he eats a stiff right jab by Bahadurzada. Big takedown by Howard scores, and he quickly advances his position. From here, he’s safe from the power of Bahadurzada. Howard moves to the back but only had one hook in and Bahadurzada was able to avoid the submission attempt for now.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Howard

Round 2: Howard with some big strikes to start the round and Bahadurzada answers; we have a battle on our hands now it would seem. Big right hand just misses by Howard. Howard grabs a leg but is unable to complete the takedown. Bahadurzada, though, succeeds with his first takedown attempt of the bout. Howard is getting the better of the striking exchange, landing lefts and rights off the cage. Some heavy breathing out of Howard, who almost gets caught up against the cage this time by Bahadurzada, who is also slowing down from the start of this round. Exchange of uppercuts by Howard and knees from Bahadurzada inside the clinch as the round begins to wind down. Howard picks up Bahadurzada, carries him on his shoulders across the cage and slams him head first down to the canvas.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Howard

Round 3: Howard shoots for the takedown, working a single-leg, but he is unable to get it. A vocal exchange between the two follows. Howard with another takedown and he is hammering down from the top. Nasty punches from “Doomsday,” but Bahadurzada survives. Back to the top position and side control for Howard, who will walk away with the decision if the final two minutes go like this. Howard gets the hooks in and rolls to his back, angling for a rear-naked choke as we go under a minute.

FightLine scores the round 10-9 for Howard

John Howard def. Siyar Bahadurzada via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)