The UFC will be making their first trip of 2014 to Brazil, with an as yet to be announced fight card.
Light-heavyweight Fabio Maldonado revealed via his Facebook page that he’ll square off against Gian Villante sometime in March. Although the card has not been officially announced, it’s believed that it will take place on the 23rd of the month and be held at the Neilo Dias Gymnasium in Natal, Brazil.
Maldonado is 3 & 3 in the UFC and currently riding a two fight winning streak. He last saw action in October of last year, when he fought and defeated Joey Beltran by way of split decision at UFN 29. This will mark Maldonado’s fourth consecutive appearance in Brazil and will now stand him one better than Vitor Belfort for most successive home stands.
Across the cage from Maldonado will be Gian Villante. Villante is a 28 year old American, five years the junior of Fabio and roughly the same size; 6’2”. He is 1 & 1 in the UFC, 11 & 4 professionally, and is a big finisher. Of his 11 victories Villante has taken seven of them by way of T/KOs’ and two by way of submissions. It total, it gives him an 82% finishing rate and sets him seven percentage points higher than Maldonado, who’s FR comes in at 75%.
The book on this fight is that it’s apt to be a stand-up battle, as both fighters seem to prefer standing and trading. Both have good chins, but at the same time, both have been stopped by way of TKO; Maldonado once and Villante twice. For the record Villante has never been submitted, where Maldonado has been forced to tap twice.
All in all it should be a good fight and as such, is probably the first fight assigned to a card that may well be anchored by heavyweights Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne, as they battle it out to see who will face champion Cain Velasquez when he returns from his shoulder injury.