In a light heavyweight bout, Fabio Maldonado and Gian Villante represent two experienced fighters looking to make a move in the division. They are both coming off victories and this would be a great time to put on a show. An impressive victory could get either fighter on another main card later in the year.
In an uneventful first round, Maldonado and Villante spent most of the round on the ground and were controlling the fight from there. It seeemed like Villante did enough with the wrestling and the ground work to take the round.
In the second, things took off quite quickly. The fight was kept standing and both fighters were able to do well. Though Villante scored another takedown, he was losing a step after landing a good set of knees. Though Maldonado was cut by the knee, he seemed to get better after that. He was landing some powerful but accurate strikes that clearly hurt Villante. This round was filled with great action and a whole lot of blood.
The third round started much like the second. There was a lot of standing with Maldonado getting the best of the echanges. Villante attempted several takedowns but Maldonado showed solid defense. It was clear that Maldonado had a much bigger tank in this fight with Villante looking exhausted by the middle of the round. Maldonado continued to damage Villante with strikes and even walked away thinking he knocked him out. Maldonado continued to use Villante as a punching bag as the round came to a conclusion.
It almost seemed like Maldonado deserved a stoppage in that fight, but referee Herb Dean did not seem to think so. After a great comeback on such an eventful card, hopefully we get to the Maldonado take on another great striker in his next fight.
Check out full UFC Fight Night 38 results HERE.