Gian Villante

USA

Out
Injury Hand
Est. Return 12/29/2020
Gets 180-day medical ban
HeavyweightUFC
Out
June 29, 2020
The Nevada Athletic Commission announced Monday that Villante was suspended 180 days after sustaining a left hand injury in his submission loss to Maurice Greene at UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday, Nolan King of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
Villante's suspension can be lifted before six months if he receives full medical clearance from a doctor. The 34-year-old's MMA record dropped to 17-12-0 with the loss to Greene in what was Villante's first fight at the heavyweight level.
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Baffling loss in heavyweight debut
HeavyweightUFC
Out
June 27, 2020
Villante lost to Maurice Greene via submission (Arm Triangle) at 3:44 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Against all odds, Villante appeared to be on his way to winning his heavyweight debut. He struggled in Round 1, but his leg kicks began to find a home in Round 2. Early in Round 3, he dropped Greene with one huge shot. He went crazy trying to finish the fight from top position and was unable to. That led to one of the more awkward finishes in recent memory. Villante was laying on top of Greene and in firm control of the fight, at which point Greene sort of applied a choke. He barely appeared to be squeezing (it was difficult since Villante was on top of him) and Villante suddenly tapped out. It was clearly the result of exhaustion as opposed to anything Greene did. Villante has had a strange professional career. He's an elite athlete who displays poor conditioning and refuses to use his wrestling skills. Villante appears to be committed to staying at heavyweight but it's nearly impossible to believe he'll have any success there. The soon-to-be 35-year-old is 1-3 in his past four fights.
Heavyweight debut rescheduled
HeavyweightUFC
Out
May 25, 2020
Villante is in line to face Maurice Greene in a heavyweight matchup at a yet-to-be-determined location on June 27, Mike Heck and Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com report.
ANALYSIS
Villante was scheduled to make his heavyweight debut at UFC 249 against Ben Rothwell on April 18, but that bout was lost when the event was pushed back to May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He'll now get his first heavyweight bout against Greene, an opponent who lost his last two bouts. Villante will also be giving up four inches in both height and reach. While Villante hasn't used his wrestling in recent memory, that could be one strategy to attempt to negate the size advantage here, as Greene has defended just a third of the takedowns attempted on him through five UFC bouts.
Facing Rothwell at heavyweight
HeavyweightUFC
Out
January 14, 2020
Villante is expected to face Ben Rothwell in a heavyweight bout at UFC 249 in Brooklyn on April 18, Nolan King of USA Today reports.
ANALYSIS
Villante (17-11 MMA, 7-8 UFC) will make the move from light heavyweight to heavyweight for the bout, and he was forced to withdraw from his last bout in July for undisclosed reasons. His last result came in Feburary when he lost to Michael Oleksiejczuk via TKO in the first round. Meanwhile, Rothwell (37-12, 7-6 UFC) is coming off a controversial victory over Stefan Struve via TKO in December that included a pair of illegal groin strikes.
Withdraws from UFC on ESPN+ 13
HeavyweightUFC
Out
July 4, 2019
Villante has withdrawn from UFC on ESPN+ 13 on July 13 against Mike Rodriguez, Nolan King of MMA Junkie reports. He will be replaced by John Allan.
ANALYSIS
An immediate reason has not been given for Villante's withdrawal, but more information will be posted when it becomes available. The UFC will attempt to locate a late-notice replacement for Rodriguez.
Added to Sacramento card
HeavyweightUFC
Out
May 30, 2019
Villante will take on Mike Rodriguez in a light heavyweight matchup at UFC Sacramento on July 13, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Consistency has always been a struggle for Villante, who has only been able to string together back-to-back victories on one occasion in 15 UFC fights. He'll get a relatively raw product in Rodriguez next time out, who got his shot on Dana White's Contender Series and is 1-1 with the UFC since. Villante will be giving up six inches in reach to Rodriguez, who is also the slightly taller man. Neither man has employed much of a wrestling aspect in their arsenal of late, so look for the two light heavyweights to come out swinging. Considering neither has displayed particularly strong striking defense, it seems likely this one won't see the final bell.