In the co-main event of UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum in Fortaleza, Brazil, light heavyweight legend Mauricio Rua and Gian Villante went toe-to-toe and traded heavy shots throughout their encounter. The former PRIDE and UFC champion repeatedly blasted Villante with right hands, rocking him multiple times, before finally getting the TKO win in the final round. Believe it or not, it’s Shogun’s first-ever three-fight winning streak in his entire UFC career.
Early in the opening round, a short Shogun right hand hurt Villante and dropped him momentarily. Shogun went to the body and patiently waited for openings. Villante connected with a leg kick. An uppercut and big left hook hurt Shogun and had him in trouble and wobbling backwards. Shogun recovered well enough after they clinched up. Two right hands tagged Villante after they separated. This all happened within the first two minutes. Another right hand knocked Villante down, as he was clipped on the top of the head. Villante got back to his feet but he ate a body shot. Shogun finished a wild first round with a three-punch combination.
The pace predictably slowed to start round 2. Shogun was still in search of that massive right hand shot. He was in control but Villante was able to tag him with a left hook. Villante took Shogun down for a split second, but Rua was easily able to get to his feet. Villante fell to the mat but it looked more like a push than a knockdown in the midst of a Shogun combination. Another flush right hand jarred Villante’s head to close out the round.
Shogun stopped Villante in his tracks with the umpteenth right hand he landed. Villante was coming forward, Shogun smashed him with that shot. Shogun blitzed Villante with a series of punches. Villante was wavering in the wind, getting beaten up to the body and to the head. Shogun threw a head kick, then unleashed a slew of punches against the fence to drop Villante and put him away.
Official result: Mauricio Rua vs. Gian Villante by TKO (punches) at :59 of round 3