Gian Villante


Draws Chris Barnett at UFC 268
September 23, 2021
Villante will fight Chris Barnett in a heavyweight bout at UFC 268 in November, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
Villante has lost his first two fights in the heavyweight division, as a lack of technical skill has held him back. He'll have a five-inch height advantage and an extra inch of reach against Barnett, but it remains to be seen if he'll capitalize on it.
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Struggles continue in Vegas
December 5, 2020
Villante lost to Jake Collier via unanimous decision (27-30, 27-30, 27-30) at UFC on ESPN 19 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It's the same old story for Villante. Blessed with elite physical gifts, Villante refuses to do anything other than stand and bang with his opposition. It had been that way for years when he was competing at middleweight and nothing has changed in his first two bouts up at heavyweight. Villante has one of the very best chins in the entire company but displays zero footwork and has long had poor cardio. Simply put, Collier outworked him in this fight. Now 35 years old, Villante's UFC run, and MMA career in general, has been a massive disappointment. The Long Island native has now lost three in a row and is just 2-6 in his past eight bouts dating back to March 2017.
Returns to Octagon in December
September 21, 2020
Villante will fight Jake Collier at the UFC event December 5, reports.
Villante will being looking to bounce back after being submitted back in late June by Maurice Green. The heavyweight fighter was given a 180-day medical suspension for a left hand injury, but that will expire before December 5.
Gets 180-day medical ban
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.
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.
Baffling loss in heavyweight debut
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.
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
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 report.
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.