Gian Villante will return to the octagon for the first time in over a year, as he takes on Ben Rothwell at UFC 249.
Mark La Monica of Newsday Sports first reported the news, though the UFC is yet to make an official announcement. The fight will be Villante’s move back to heavyweight after spending all of his UFC career fighting at light heavyweight.
Rothwell (37-12) got back in the win column at UFC Washington last December when he stopped Stefan Struve in the first round. “Big Ben” suffered three consecutive decisions losses before that, two of which to former champions Andrei Arlovski and Junior Dos Santos.
Villante (17-11) has had a mixed run in his last few UFC appearances, going 2-2 in his last four fights. Picking up decision wins against Ed Herman and Francimar Barroso, the New Yorker has also lost a decision to Sam Alvey and suffered a TKO loss to Michał Oleksiejczuk in his most recent fight.
UFC 249 takes place on, April 18th, at the Barclays Center in New York. The card is expected to be headlined by a lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson.