Gian Villante replaces Robert Drysdale against Cody Donovan at UFC 167


Thanks to a last-minute replacement, there will still be a “Donnybrook” starting off the UFC 167 prelims, as Cody Donovan will now be squaring off with former Strikeforce competitor Gian Villante. Donovan’s original opponent, BJJ black belt Robert Drysdale, was pulled from the bout after being denied a fighter’s license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to elevated testosterone levels.

The UFC made the announcement via their website,, earlier today.

Gian Villante replaces Robert Drysdale against Cody Donovan at UFC 167

Gian Villante (10-8) made his debut with the promotion at UFC 159, losing a controversial technical decision to Ovince St. Preux after receiving a fight-ending poke to the eye. Prior to that, Villante was on a 3 fight winning streak that had culminated in a decision victory over Derrick Mehman on the final Strikeforce card. Will the powerful Bellmore Boxing Academy light heavyweight will be able to return to his winning ways with a victory over “Donnybrook?”

Cody “Donnybrook” Donovan (8-3) is 1-1 in the UFC, starting his promotional career off with a win over Nick Penner at UFC on FX 6 in 2012. Since then, the Grudge Training Centre product was last seen also losing to Ovince St. Preux, getting TKOed in the 1st round of their bout at UFC Fight Night 26. With a such a short notice change in opponents, will “Donnybrook” be able to adjust and get the duke over a game opponent in Villante?

UFC 167 goes down on November 16th from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The main event is a welterweight title clash pitting long-time divisional ruler Georges “Rush” St. Pierre against heavy-handed wrestle-boxer Johny Hendricks. Stay tuned to for more on this and other events.


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