Patrick Cummins and Gian Villante faced off at Light Heavyweight tonight (July 22, 2017) at UFC on FOX 25: "Weidman vs. Gastelum," which took place inside Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Fighting out of the Serra-Longo gym in Long Island, Villante had alternated wins and losses, his most recent fight a loss against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Cummins had bounced back from back-to-back losses to decision Jan Blachowicz. In the thin air at 205 pounds, they both held top fifteen rankings, though neither looked likely to win a title. Cummins looked to wrestle his way to a win, while Villante was decidedly a striker by preference.
Cummins’ first takedown attempt was stuffed, and he ate a boatload of hammerfists when he attempted his second. Villante rocked him when they separated, and Cummins looked groggy until John McCarthy gave Cummins a chance to recover after a headbutt. He was bleeding profusely from a cut on his temple. When they restarted, Cummins shot in, but only succeeded in holding Villante in the clinch for a short time before separating. Villante immediately began landing shots. Cummins looked significantly slower on the feet, as Villante landed straight shots. Cummins hit a nice right hand over the top and ducked under. His single leg was stuffed but he landed a nice hook on the break. Villante popped his head back with a sharp jab. Cummins landed another right hand as he dove for a single-leg takedown. Villante stuffed it, but gave up his back and Cummins got him down for a moment. Villante worked back to his feet, but Cummins held him against the cage. Cummins looked for another mid-body shot, timing Villante’s jab and holding him against the cage until the round ended.
Villante jabbed into a right hand to start the second round. Cummins landed a nice right hand. Villante clipped him with an uppercut. Cummins landed a left hook, then shot for another single-leg, but Villante stuffed it and got away quickly. Villante landed another sharp right hand. They traded jabs. Cummins backed Villante up with an overhand right and dove into the clinch. Villante circled out. Villante threw a head kick, but it was blocked. Cummins swarmed with a combination. His jab looked sharper as the fight progressed, giving Villante problems. Villante landed a right hand but ate a left hook in return. Cummins was moving his head a lot, looking to time Villante’s jab and counter with a right hand or left hook. Villante landed a hard right hand. Villante threw a superman right. Cummins opened up with a combination, tagging Villante as he tried to angle away. Villante landed a hard leg kick. Cummins shot in again, a high single turning into a brief clinch against the cage. Villante bounced around as the second round ended. It was a close round, but I gave the edge to Cummins.
Both fighters opened up the third round aggressively. Cummins landed a combination, and Villante stuffed his takedown. Villante hit a nice right straight. Cummins ate another and looked rocked, bouncing around to shake it off. He dove in for takedowns as the crowd rallied behind Villante. He seemed to recover, his forehead covered in blood, pressing forward and even throwing a superman elbow. Villante looked tired as Cummins continued to counter his jab with head movement. Cummins landed a hard right overhand, then another. They clinched, Cummins pushing Villante against the cage with an underhook. Cummins landed knees to the legs and body until John McCarthy broke up the clinch. Cummins pressed foward, eating a right hand but staying in Villante’s face to close out the fight. They embraced, giving each other props for a hard-fought bout.
Cummins had a gorgeous shiner and gauze on the side of his dome as Bruce Buffer read the split decision. Gian Villante looked surprised, but it was no robbery, as Cummins hung in through some tough moments to gut out a deserved win.
Official result: Patrick Cummins def. Gian Villante by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
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