This is the UFC 196 live blog for Gian Villante vs. Ilir Latifi, a light heavyweight bout at Saturday night's UFC event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Villante, who has three wins in his past five fights, will face Latifi, who has four wins in his past five fights, on the main card.
Check out the UFC 196 live blog below.
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Round 1: The referee in charge is Yves Lavigne. Villante is opening up with high, probing kicks. Latifi powers Villante back to the fence, but so far can't make progress on a takedown. They separate from the clinch. Hard leg kick scores for Villante. Latifi catches a kick and Latifi lands a big overhand left, which backs up Villante. Latifi tries to pursue a takedown, but can't get it. Latifi breaks the clinch with ripping shots to the body. Latifi clinches with Villante again, pressing him back into the fence, but fires an elbow that barely lands as they break. Latifi is trying to land a monster shot, but is short and now stuffed again on the takedown attempt. Hard kick lands to the legs from Villante.
MMA Fighting scores this round 10-9 Villante
Round 2: The two open the frame exchanging leg kicks, Villante throwing and landing more. Left hand sneaks through for Latifi, but he's still backing up. Latifi ducks a punch and works to Villante's back and lands a belly-to-back suplex. Hard outside leg kick scores from Villante after he returns to his feet. Latifi attempts a takedown, but can't get it. Villante trying to land a right hand, but just missing. Latifi spins twice, partially landing both times. Latifi blocks a head kick and tries to bully Villante into the fence again. Latifi picks Villante up and drives him down, defense hammerfist. Villante stands before the final bell.
MMA Fighting scores this round 10-9 Latifi
Round 3: Latifi blitzes with a shot to the body, but he' still backing up. Latifi pushes Villante into the fence and tries to secure a double, but misses, so he switches directions and still can't get it. Leaning left hook from Latifi almost lands. Spinning heel kick from Latifi whiffs. Punishing right hand lands for Latifi, but Villante seems unfazed. Left hand crushes Villante again. Good body kick scores for Villante. Latifi goes back to the left hand, but can't get it. Despite a blatant fence grab, Villante is taken down. Villante stands and reverses Latifi, but the round ends.
MMA Fighting scores this round 10-9 Latifi and the fight 29-28 Latifi
Ilir Latifi def. Gian Villante via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)