Veteran UFC light heavyweight slugger Fabio Maldonado continued his winning ways with a dominant performance at Fight Night 38 against Gian Villante. Maldonado relied on his impressive boxing background to put on a striking clinic to earn a unanimous decision victory before his Brazilian supporters. Maldonado has plenty of career momentum thanks to a third straight Octagon victory.
Villante had an outstanding opening round after utilizing his wrestling background to take Maldonado to the mat just moments into the fight. He was able to negate Maldonado’s offense and control the first five minutes of the contest. However in round two, Maldonado began to find the range with his jab and started landing solid combinations. He showed his trademark toughness by upping the attack after being bloodied by a Villante knee and had his opponent tiring badly as the result of damaging body blows.
In the final round it was all Maldonado as he continued to brutalize his game opponent with thudding punches. Villante was in a bad way for the final minute of the fight but showed a tremendous chin and heart to make it to the final horn. Maldonado has now reeled off victories against Villante, Joey Beltran and Roger Hollett and improved to 21-6. As expected whenever Maldonado is involved it tends to produce a slugfest.
The tough as nails Maldonado is now 4-3 in his UFC career and should be poised to face a top-15 opponent next. Matchmakers would be doing both Maldonado and fans a favour by lining him up against another fighter who likes to stand and trade.
While Villante fell to 1-2 in his Octagon tenure, his ability to absorb punishment and battle to the end despite being outgunned should get him another chance.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports