Gian Villante vs. Fabio Maldonado set for UFC event in Natal, Brazil

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC has another trip planned for Brazil, and the unannounced fight card already has a fight.

Fabio Maldonado announced on his Facebook page that he will face off against Gian Villante in Natal, Brazil in March. The card, yet to be officially announced by the promotion, is expected to take place on March 23 at Nelio Dias Gymnasium. MMA Sun first reported Natal as the possible city for the event.

Villante (11-4), a former college football player, enters the Octagon following his first win under the UFC banner, a second-round TKO stoppage over Cody Donovan at UFC 167. Prior to that bout, Villante suffered a technical decision loss to Ovince St. Preux at UFC 159 after getting poked in the eye.

Maldonado (20-6) came close to being released by the UFC after three consecutive losses, but saved his career with back-to-back decision wins over Joey Beltran and Roger Hollett in 2013. Before his revival, the last time Maldonado had his arms raised after a UFC fight was in 2010 at UFC 120, when he stopped James McSweeney.

The UFC’s next Fight Night card in Brazil has no main event set yet, but there’s a chance a heavyweight bout featuring Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne takes the spot.

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