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John Howard Now Faces Mike Arrant At WSOF 31

World Series of Fighting announced today that Thiago Meller has withdrawn from his scheduled welterweight contest against John Howard, who will now face Mike Arrant in a middleweight bout at the much-anticipated WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland world championship doubleheader Mixed Martial Arts event, live on NBCSN (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. on Friday, June 17th.

In addition, undefeated Marcus Surin of Stamford, Conn. has been tabbed to step in for Sam Watford in the scheduled lightweight preliminary card contest against Christian Torres of Endicott, N.Y.

Originally hailing from Orlando, Fla., the 5-foot-9, 28-year-old Arrant, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt, resides in Las Vegas, where he is a member of legendary champion Randy Couture‘s Xtreme Couture fight squad.

Arrant is looking to return to the win column following a unanimous decision defeat in his last start on August 7th, 2015, at the hands of two-time UFC veteran Brock Jardine.

Prior to the loss, Arrant had reeled off six consecutive victories, five of which he produced in the first round, by way of (T)KO or submission.  To date, 12 of his 15 professional wins have been finishes.

During the six-fight win streak, Arrant seized his first championship – regional promotion SteelFist Fight Night’s welterweight title – with a first round (5:00) TKO (retirement) of Carl Dieckmann on July 12th, 2013.

Like Arrant, the 5-foot-7, 33-year-old Howard boasts a phenomenal finish rate with 15 of his 23 professional victories having come by way of (T)KO or submission.

Howard will make his promotional debut with World Series of Fighting following a second stint with the UFC that spanned seven fights and included wins over Uriah Hall, Siyar Bahadurzada and Cathal Pendred.

Priced from $39.99, tickets for WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland are on sale at wsof.com and foxwoods.com.

Doors at The Grand Theatre at Foxwoods Resort Casino will open at 5 p.m. ET, and the first of seven preliminary card bouts will begin at 5:45 p.m.

The entire preliminary fight card will stream live on an embeddable video player on WSOF.com.

In the main event of the five-bout, live NBCSN telecast, reigning World Series of Fighting heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov will put his title on the line against Josh Bear Copeland.

In the lightweight co-main event, superstars Jason High and Mike Ricci will square off with their division’s number one contender ranking at stake.

Main Card (Live on NBCSN)

Blagoy Ivanov (Champion) vs. Josh Copeland (Challenger)
Jason High vs. Mike Ricci
John Howard vs. Mike Arrant
Luis Palomino vs. Sheymon Moraes
Phil Hawes vs. Josh Key

Prelims (Live on WSOF.com)

Tom Marcellino vs. Devin Powell
Juliano Coutinho vs. Justin Willis
Tyler King vs. Lorenzo Hood
Robert Fonseca vs. Sean Lally
Bruce Boyington vs. Saul Almeida
Rodrigo Almeida vs. Ben Pierre-Saint
Marcus Surin vs. Christian Torres

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