Gian Villante replaces Robert Drysdale at UFC 167 against Cody Donovan

USA TODAY Sports

With Drysdale out after a failed drug test kept him from being licensed by the NSAC, Strikeforce vet Gian Villante steps up to take his place.

Monday evening, news broke that UFC Light Heavyweight hopeful Robert Drysdale was removed from his fight on the UFC 167 after failing a pre-licensure drug test. Drysdale tested at an impressive 19.4:1 T/E ratio (only surpassed by Brian Bowles at 20:1) and the Nevada State Athletic Commission refused to grant him a license for the November 16 bout.

With a hole in the card, the UFC acted quickly, announcing Tuesday that Gian Villante will be taking Drysdale's place against Cody Donovan.

Villante came over to the UFC as part of the Strikeforce merger. He went 3-2 with the now defunct organization before making his promotional debut at UFC 159. He fought well against Ovince St. Preux before a nasty eye poke stopped the fight and the technical decision was awarded to his opponent. Villante will enter the fight with a career record of 10-4.

His opponent on the Facebook prelims for the event will be Cody Donovan. Coincidentally, Donovan's last fight was also against St. Preux. He fell in the first round by KO. In contrast, in his UFC debut prior to that, Donovan won by first round KO. He'll face Villante with a career record of 8-3.

UFC 167 feature the highly anticipated Welterweight title fight between champion Georges St. Pierre and challenger Johny Hendricks. It will take place on November 16 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV.

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