A welterweight bout has been added to the stacked UFC 189 card. Sources close to the matchup originally confirmed to MMAOddsbreaker.com that Brandon Thatch would take on Jordan Mein at UFC 189, which is set to take place July 11 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. As of yesterday (Tuesday), that was the plan, but plans were scrapped when Mein needed a bit more time to heal from injuries. Instead, UFC Tonight has reported Thatch will instead face John Howard at the same fight card. It is not yet known whether the bout will take place on the main pay-per-view card or if it will take place on the televised preliminary card. Thatch (11-2) is coming off of a “Fight of the Night” fourth-round submission loss to Benson Henderson at UFC Fight Night 60 in a matchup most consider to be one of the most entertaining of the year so far. The 29-year-old American is overall 2-1 in the UFC with two stoppage wins over Paulo Thiago and Justin Edwards in addition to the loss to Henderson, which was his first defeat in over six years. Armed with a dangerous standup attack and improving wrestling, Thatch is still someone to keep an eye out on in the welterweight division despite his recent setback, and a win over Mein at UFC 189 would shoot him right back to where he was before the Henderson fight. Howard (22-11) is 6-6 in the UFC with wins over Uriah Hall and Siyar Bahadurzada and losses to Jake Ellenberger, Ryan LaFlare and Lorenz Larkin. The 32-year-old Bostonian is coming off the first legitimate knockout loss of his career against Larkin this past January and is currently riding a three-fight losing streak. Howard desperately needs a victory to remain on the UFC roster and he will need to utilize his entire skill-set against the very dangerous Muay Thai striker. The odds for this bout will be released closer to fight time, but based on their recent performances look for Thatch to open up as the betting favorite for this fight. With the addition of Thatch vs. Mein, UFC 189 currently stands as this:
- Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor for UFC featherweight title
- Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald for UFC welterweight title
- Jeremy Stephens vs. Dennis Bermudez
- Brandon Thatch vs. John Howard
- Gunnard Nelson vs John Hathaway
Be sure to keep checking MMAOB for news, notes, and breaking odds for what is shaping up to be one of the most stacked events of the year.