There’s a UFC installment this weekend – on Sunday to be exact – and headlining the card for the 38th installment of UFC Fight Night is a rematch between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Dan Henderson, two men who are probably one crappy performance away from hanging up the gloves for good. As the event takes place in Brazil, there will be a ton of Brazilians stepping into the cage. But those locals need to fight SOMEONE from out of town, so facing Fabio Maldonado is Strikeforce veteran Gian Villante.
Villante had mixed success in his time in Strikeforce, and he continued that roller coaster ride of a career when he transitioned to Octagon life. What many don’t know, though, is that his fights in the minor leagues was pretty stellar, and for a couple years while he was coming up the ranks in Northeast promotion Ring of Combat, he was pegged as the next big superstar. (His best friend and training partner, Chris Weidman, ended up being that superstar instead.)
Anyway, here’s a glimpse at his handiwork in the regional circuit. Watch and learn.