The World Series of Fighting (WSOF) debut of John Howard is slated to take place on Friday at WSOF 31 and this will be his first fight since exiting the UFC following his lost to Tim Means at UFC Fight Night 80.

Howard (23-12) was scheduled to face Thiago Meller on Friday’s fight card taking place at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, but Meller pulled out of the fight this week with a torn calf according to MMA Junkie. Prior to Meller pulling out of the fight, Howard was a guest on “The MMA Report Podcast” and talked about the term “gate keeper.”

“It honestly does and this is why. I exited from the UFC because of certain politics that didn’t go my way basically. That is my true opinion,” Howard said on The MMA Report Podcast about people potentially calling him a gatekeeper. “But I am not necessarily the gatekeeper. I am a warning. My message to Thiago Meller and the reason he took the fight is to prove he can hang with some of the best fighters in the world.”

“People are counting me out thinking that I’m retired and out,” he continued. “It’s not that. I’m a warning. If you can beat me, I’ll make the phone call personally to Joe Silva. Say this guy is UFC ready, but you have to beat me first. I am going to give you a taste of what UFC is about. The way I am going to hit him. The way I am going to touch him. I am going to let him know what these fighters are really capable of.”

Check out Howard’s complete interview from Wednesday’s edition of “The MMA Report Podcast” below and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher.