A grudge match between welterweights Anthony Johnson and John Howard scheduled for March 21 at “UFC on Versus 1: Vera vs. Jones” is off, as Johnson recently suffered a knee injury and has been forced to withdraw from the fight. Pro MMA Now first reported the news overnight.
Howard’s manager has since confirmed to the Boston Herald that undefeated UFC newcomer Daniel Roberts will replace Johnson and fight Howard on the event’s Versus-televised main card.
Roberts (9-0) has remained unbeaten with four-straight first-round stoppages, including an opening round submission due to strikes of Anthony Macias at 5150’s event in mid-January.
Howard (13-4) began his UFC career with decisions over Chris Wilson and Tamden McCrory before scoring a last-second knockout of Dennis Hallman in December.
Johnson (8-3) scored three-straight knockouts of Kevin Burns, Luigi Fioravani, and Yoshiyuki Yoshida, but was looking to rebound after suffering a second-round submission to Josh Koscheck in November.
“UFC on Versus: Vera vs. Jones” is headlined by Brandon Vera vs. Jon Jones and also includes Junior dos Santos vs. Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo vs. Paul Buentello.