A man with whom I am very familiar, Mike Easton, is set to make his UFC debut in his hometown. Easton will take on Jeff Hougland at UFC on Versus 6 in Washington, DC. UFC announced the bout today on their website:
Winner of five in a row, bantamweight prospect Mike "The Hulk" Easton will return to competition for the first time since 2009 and he will do it in the UFC Octagon as he makes his debut in the organization against Jeff Hougland on October 1st's UFC Live on Versus card in Washington D.C. Easton, a stablemate of 135-pound champ Dominick Cruz, will be in tough against Hougland, who was successful in his UFC debut in July, defeating Donny Walker.
I've commentated four of Mike Easton's professional fights cage side during my time with the Ultimate Warrior Challenge. When I first started training on jiu-jitsu and muay Thai Mike was one of my personal coaches. I will say, though, I spoke out vociferously against the decision he earned against Chase Beebe in his last fight, but Mike and I have remained friendly to this day.
Mike is of supreme athletic talent, but Hougland could be a bad match-up for him. Hougland is neither the grappler nor the athlete nor the striker Easton is, but he fights very actively, hustling from bell to bell. Easton can be a slow starter and against even a lesser opponent like Hougland, simple urgency could make all the difference. Easton is also coming into this bout on a two-year absence from professional competition.