MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Maldonado vs. Villante Set For UFC Fight Night 38

Fabio Maldonado A light heavyweight slugfest is going down this March in Brazil. According to the Facebook of Fabio Maldonado, the Brazilian will take on American Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 38, which is rumored to take place this March 23 in Natal, Brazil. According to @MMASun, the main event for UFC Fight Night 38 will be a five-round heavyweight bout between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne, but that fight hasn’t been offically confirmed yet by either the fighters or the UFC. As for Maldonado vs. Villante, I think this is going to be an excellent fight for the fans and I’m looking forward to seeing it go down as Maldonado is one of my favorite light heavyweights to watch fight. Known for his impressive boxing ability and iron chin, Maldonado recently returned to the win column with a razor-thin split decision win over Joey Beltran that ended a nasty three-fight win streak for the Brazilian. But while the Beltran fight was ultimately favorable to Maldonado since he got his hand raised, the fight wasn’t the bangfest that fans expected from the pair and Maldonado will likely feel the need to put on a better show when he takes on Villante this spring. As for Villante, the main training partner of UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman recently picked up the very first win of his UFC career, a second-round TKO win over Cody Donovan at UFC 167. It was good for Villante to get back in the win column after a disappointing performance against Ovince St-Preux in his Octagon debut at UFC 159, but he was being thoroughly outstruck by Donovan in the first round of that fight and was only able to turn things around in the second after Donovan and his poor chin started to gas out. This fight between Maldonado and Villante should be entertaining, and since both men are tough I think there’s a good chance it goes three rounds. I can already tell you that Maldonado isn’t getting knocked out by Villante, and although the New Yorker his been finished by fighters such as Chad Griggs in the past, I think Maldonado’s lack of stopping power will made it hard for him to get the finish of Villante. So I’m already leaning towards the OVER 2.5 rounds total whenever the sportsbooks release lines for this fight. As for the matchup itself, it’s pretty close but I think fighting in Brazil that Maldonado should be the slight favorite going into the bout. If the fight stays standing I think that Maldonado is going to make it very competitive and he could easily steal a decision if he’s able to outjab Villante and mix in some nice body shots, but if Villante is smart and decides to take this fight to the floor, maybe it won’t be as close as I think it will be as Maldonado has a notoriously poor ground game. Still, I expect a very exciting bout between these two light heavyweights and I’m excited to see what other fights get added to this card in the coming weeks.

Written by Adam Martin.

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