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Excitement, plans as UFC eyes Hub

John Howard sounded like he was smiling a lot more than someone nicknamed?“Doomsday” should be.<p></p>

John Howard sounded like he was smiling a lot more than someone nicknamed?“Doomsday” should be.

The 26-year-old Roxbury native has won 12 of his 16 pro mixed martial arts bouts. This summer, he might get his first chance to fight near home.

The state officially regulated MMA this week, clearing the way for the UFC — the top-tier promotion for which Howard competes — to stage an event in Boston.

“I’m just excited, man,” Howard said soon after receiving the news. “... I can’t wait.”

The UFC’s first show in the Hub will “definitely” be a pay-per-view event, said Marc Ratner, the company’s vice president of regulatory and governmental affairs. A July or August card at the TD Garden is likely; at roughly one major event a month before that, Boston’s tilt would be around UFC 115.

Ratner said he expects it to take 45 to 60 days for the State Athletic Commission to square away rules, officials and judges for the sport. “I’m very certain we will have a show there in late summer,”?he said.

 
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