Howard (3-5) is just 28 years old, over a decade younger than the Oregonian legend. The age differential is massive, but Avila doesn't think anything of it. She's out to prove that age is just a number. "It's not weird at all," Avila explained to AXS, of fighting a much younger woman. "It's no different than spanking my children Ha just kidding! There are tough athletes at all ages. I don't think it's any different than fighting someone my own age."
Does "Heartless" make some legit points? The age difference is noteworthy, but Howard and Avila have similar records and close to the same amount of experience inside the cage. Experience and skill level is more important than a similarity in age, when it comes to MMA fights getting booked, approved and sanctioned.
Additionally, it helps that Howard and Avila already fought each other once. The fact that their first fight was super close and competitive made setting up a rematch a no-brainer. "Heartless" edged Howard on the judges' scorecards at "Rumble at the Roseland" in 2014, a decision win that was highly controversial. Now three years later, they'll get to run it back.
"Last time we battled it out, I won a split-decision that she and her coaches were angry about," Avila said. "I think this time around, we're both going to look a lot more polished and aggressive. I'm 100 percent expecting a war, and I'm ready for it."