Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight bruisers Gian Villante and Patrick Cummins will battle this Saturday (July 22, 2017) at UFC on FOX 25 inside Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Oh man, this one might get ugly.
Villante has been the picture of inconsistency inside the Octagon. Despite his physical attributes and wrestling background, Villante has struggled with pretty much any opponent who can avoid falling apart after the first couple exchanges. Meanwhile, Cummins has pretty much two possible results: he falls apart in the first couple exchanges or ragdolls his opponents around with powerful takedowns. Despite these issues, both men are currently ranked in the top 15 at 205 lbs.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for both men.
Key Wins: Corey Anderson (UFC on FOX 15), Anthony Perosh (UFC 193), Sean O'Connell (UFC Fight Night 43)
Key Losses: Mauricio Rua (UFC Fight Night 106), Tom Lawlor (UFC on FOX 16), Ilir Latifi (UFC 196), Ovince St. Preux (UFC 159)
Keys to Victory: Villante has all the tools of a great fighter. When he’s on his game, Villante is damn difficult to take down, packs a serious punch, and can also dig some brutal low kicks. Alternatively, Villante will gas out after the first round or lumber into each of his opponent’s punches as though on purpose.
It’s really the strangest thing.
At any rate, it probably shouldn’t matter that much here. Villante is large, strong, and quality defensive wrestler even on his mediocre days. Even is all of his tact is gone, Cummins tends to be so absurdly hittable that Villante will not have a difficult time finding his chin.
Cardio doesn’t matter when it ends in the first.
Key Wins: Jan Blachowicz (UFC 210), Rafael Cavalcante (UFC 190), Antonio Carlos Junior (UFC Fight Night 58)
Key Losses: Daniel Cormier (UFC 170), Glover Teixeira (UFC Fight Night 77), Ovince St. Preux (UFC on FOX 15), Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (UFC 198)
Keys to Victory: Giving credit where it’s due, Cummins is an excellent fighter considering he was a short-notice pick up, elevated from his spot as a barista. None of his flaws are really his fault, and when Cummins is able to employ his strategy of strong wrestling and hard ground strikes, he looks really good.
Unfortunately, Cummins is 36 years old and got a pretty late start in MMA. He’s slow on his feet and absurdly hittable. Despite his toughness — a trait Cummins has in spades — the human skull can only take so many blows before it crumbles.
If Cummins lets his opponent land early, that’s what’ll happen.
To win this bout, Cummins has to drag it into the second round. He did that in his last fight by letting his opponent tee off until he was fatigued, but Villante is too heavy a puncher for that to work. Instead, Cummins desperately needs to switch up his striking approach.
In order to win, Cummins needs to move his feet and head. That may not be his usual approach, but slowly walking Villante down will get him knocked out. If he can focus on quickness and defense, his chance of getting in on a shot without getting blasted increases.
Bottom Line: It’s a battle of fairly high-ranked Light Heavyweights that should produce some violence either way.
This is honestly something of a must-win fight for both men that somehow still won’t matter. Both fighters have more recent losses than recent wins yet are still ranked highly. On paper, more consecutive losses should hurt their standings, create room for potential up-and-comers, and generally affect job security.
In reality, Light Heavyweight needs every able body fighter available, and the loss will do little to hurt either fighter.
Interestingly, the consequences for a win are not that significant in terms of the division either. Both fighters are firmly trapped in the 10-15 range, and that will not change on Saturday night.
At UFC on FOX 25, Gian Villante and Patrick Cummins will throw down in a battle of Light Heavyweights. Which fighter will have his hand raised?