The third bout on the UFC Fight Night 38 main card is a Light Heavyweight clash between Gian Villante and Fabio Maldonado.
Fabio Maldonado (20-6, 3-3 UFC) may have the best chin and biggest heart in the entire UFC. Maldonado has taken some hellacious beatings inside the cage, but has never given up and failed to push forward. After losing three hard fought fights in a row, Maldonado has won two fights in a row by decision. Although his last fight, a split decision win over Joey Beltran, was hotly contested, Maldonado is ready to continue his winning streak and break into the top 15 in the UFC rankings.
Former StrikeForce veteran, Gian Villante (11-4, 1-1 UFC) is looking to build off of his impressive TKO victory over Cody Donovan back in November. After losing his UFC debut by majority decision to Ovince St. Preux. Villante is hoping to put away the ever durable Maldonado for his second straight finish and victory inside the Octagon.
Round 1: Body shots to start from Maldonado. Big slam takedown for Villante right into side control. Maldonado scrambles, but Villante gets control on top of his back. Maldonado is being pushed on the fence by Villante and eating knees to the thighs. Maldonado gets to his feet, but Villante still has underhooks and is landing knees. Villante with a takedown, and right into side control. Maldonado gets back to half guard. Villante passes back into side control, but Maldonado regains half guard. Not much ground and pound for Villante. As the round ends, Villante offers Maldonado a hand to get up. Not a great fight thus far, but 10-9 for Villante.
Round 2: Left hand rocks Maldonado. Two big lefts from Maldonado. Leg kick from Villante. Body shot from Maldonado. Two stinging jabs from Maldonado, but he eats a jab himself. Villante with a punch to the leg. Villante rushes forward, but misses. Maldonado is working the jab beautifully. Villante with a single leg attempt, and scrambles into a takedown. Elbows from Maldonado. As Maldonado gets to his feet he eats three huge knees and his face is a bloody mess. Maldonado comes back and lands on Villante. Maldonado once again showing his heart and Villante is backing up. Villante is exhausted here. Body shot to a right hook for Maldonado. Maldonado with a body shot and a stinging jab. Maldonado is putting together some stellar boxing combinations. Villante is misses everything. Maldonado stuffs a takedown. Two ripping body shots from Maldonado. Hard kick from Villante. Jab from Maldonado. More body shots from Maldonado as he clinches Villante to the fence. Big left hook staggers Villante. Uppercut from Maldonado and Villante is on wobbly legs. Body shot and right hand from Maldonado. Villante was basically out on his feet right there. 10-9 Maldonado.
Round 3: They touch gloves to start. Jabs from Maldonado. Huge left hook misses for Maldonado. Villante misses a takedown. Head kick for Villante. Jab from Maldonado. Villante is completely exhausted. Awful takedown attempt from Villante. Body shots from Maldonado. Leg kick for Villante. 1-2 from Maldonado and Villante again with a weak takedown attempt. Maldonado is content to jab Villante at distance. Big left hook from Maldonado. Beautiful body shots from Maldonado. Jab from Maldonado again. Everything is landed for Maldonado. Villante lands a big right hand. Left hook nails VIllante and Maldonado walked away momentarily as if he won. Maldonado comes back and lands again, but Villante clinches Maldonado on the fence. Guillotine attempt from Maldonado, but Villante pushes away. Beautiful uppercut rocks Villante. Big right hook and left hook from Maldonado and another weak takedown attempt from Villante. Villante is a complete zombie right now as Maldonado is landing every punch. Villante is out on his feet, but he will not go down. Villante with a takedown attempt, but is stuffed again. What a war. If there ever was a 10-8, then it would be in that round for Maldonado.
Official Decision: Fabio Maldonado defeats Gian Villante by Unanimous Decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28)