Cody Donovan vs. Gian Villante
Round 1: They meet in the center of the cage and clinch and Villante lands uppercuts. Donovan lands to the body. They exchange leg kicks. Donovan fires off a high kick. Villante covers. Donovan delivers a stiff jab. Villante clinches and presses Donovan against the cage. He separates. Donovan steps in with a right hand that finds its mark. Villante is standing in front of Donovan. Donovan lands a right hand. Villante answers with a hard outside leg kick. Donovan lands a kick to the body. Villante catches it and takes the fight to the ground with 90 seconds remaining in the round. Villante lets Donovan up. Donovan continues to land his jab. He lands a right hand followed by another stiff jab. Villante pushes forward. They exchange knees to the body inside the clinch before the round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Donovan.
Round 2: Villante’s corner calls for the left hook between rounds. Donovan lands a right hand to start the round. Donovan closes the distance and clinches. They work for position along the cage before separating. Villante lands an uppercut. Donovan delivers a head kick but Villante lands a right hand at the same time that knocks Donovan down. He follows Donovan to the canvas and finishes with a series of strikes.
The official time of the technical knockout was 1:22 of the first round.
“After the way my last fight ended with the eye poke it felt so great to get out there and perform even on short notice. You don’t want to be that guy that looks back at his career twenty years from now and says that he never got a win in the UFC. I feel like that pressure is off my shoulders now. Coming in on eighteen days’ notice I thought I could be sluggish in there but I wasn’t. I really loosened up in the second and was able to start connecting. Just glad I got the win and ready for whatever the UFC has for me next.”
“That’s exactly the type of fight I wanted to have tonight. I thought that going out there and slugging was the best way to start out the UFC 20th anniversary. He’s very tough and he took a lot of good shots from me. It just didn’t go my way in the end.”