There figured to be a fair bit of urgency involved in the UFC Moncton light heavyweight bout between Gian Villante and Ed Herman. After all, this was a matchup of rugged veterans, but also one in which both competitors came into the fight as losers of three of their past four contests.
And indeed, that’s how things played out, as both fighters put on a hard-hitting, if not exactly fast-paced, performance in their main card bout at Avenir Centre in New Brunswick.
There was little separating the duo over the course of 15 minutes, and that was reflected in the scorecards: Villante took a split-decision victory by taking two out of three 29-28 scores.
“Twelve years in the UFC, do you know how tough that is?” Villante said of his foe. “That was as tough as I expected it. I feel it man, he’s a puncher, I’ve got nothing but respect for him.”
Villante seemed to get the better of matters in the opening round, as he pushed forward, worked a jab, and had effective counters when Herman struck. Villante also landed the round’s biggest shot when when he cracked Herman in the jaw with a wicked counter, but Herman managed to create space and clear his head.
That was good for him, because in the second round, he had what was plainly his best round of the fight, moving forward and peppering a bloodied and tiring Villante with big shots.
But he didn’t come close to finishing the super-tough Villante, which made the third round a battle of attrition, as both men appeared to take on a strategy of taking two shots to land one good one. It was close enough to make the bout the coin flip of a decision it was.
Villante improved to 17-10 with his fifth career decision victory. The Long Island native is now 7-7 in the UFC. Herman (23-14, 1 NC), who has been with the UFC since The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale, has now dropped three in a row.
And he wasn’t happy with the decision.
“I thought I won that f*cking fight,” Herman said. “I don’t know what the judges were watching.”