Howard confirmed the news in a video released through his Twitter page.
Howard debuted in the UFC in January 2009, earning a split-decision win over Chris Wilson. He went on to win his first four UFC fights, shooting up the division's rankings in the process. But his decline came just as fast as his rise. He lost via TKO on a doctor's stoppage against Jake Ellenberger in August 2010, and then dropped decisions to Thiago Alves and Matt Brown to seal his fate.
At the time of his fight with Brown, it was largely clear that the loser would be released, as Brown came in with a three-fight losing skid. Brown won in a 29-28, 29-28, 29-28 decision.
Howard said he plans to use his status as a UFC veteran to earn a deal with Bellator or DREAM and earn some paydays as he tries to build up his record.
"I'm not too mad about it," he said. "It's whatever, man. I tried my best. My last fight with Matt Brown, I didn't think I lost, but when it goes to the judges, that's what happens."
The 28-year-old Howard is now 14-7 overall.