Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight brawlers Gian Villante and Ed Herman will throw down this Saturday (Oct. 27, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 138 inside Avenir Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
Things are gonna get ugly in “Hub City.”
With a little luck, someone will knock out the other in the opening two minutes, but what if that doesn’t happen? In that case, we’re looking at a tired Gian Villante — loser of three of his last four bouts — staring down a fatigued Ed Herman — also loser of three of his last four — in a slow-moving contest of old Light Heavyweights. Pray for the quick knockout, but let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man if no early haymaker lands.
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), Patrick Cummins (UFC on FOX 25), Tom Lawlor (UFC on FOX 16), Ilir Latifi (UFC 196), Ovince St. Preux (UFC 159)
Keys to Victory: Villante’s best attribute at this point is that he fights fairly often for a big man. In the cage though, Villante has never managed to really build off his athleticism or develop a deep technical game. Instead, Villante has a few short minutes to score the knockout, or else his fatigue cripples him.
To Villante’s credit, his chin and takedown defense have held up quite well over the years against some tough competition. That’s important here, as Herman once was a dangerous top control fighter. Luckily, Villante’s size and strength generally allow him to deny takedowns.
Given that Herman is unlikely to succeed in grounding the New Yorker, I’d like to see Villante go after Herman early. Even five years ago, Herman was not a fast man: He’s been slow and easy to hit for a decade. For all his flaws, Villante definitely punches damn hard, and it benefits him to put leather on his foe’s chin early before his conditioning issues can make an appearance.
Record: 23-13 (1)
Key Wins: Tim Boetsch (UFC Fight Night 181), Rafael Natal (UFC Fight Night 40), Kyle Noke (UFC on Versus 5)
Key Losses: CB Dollaway (TUF 25 Finale), Nikita Krylov (TUF 25 Finale), Derek Brunson (UFC 183)
Keys to Victory: At one point many years ago, Ed Herman was a Middleweight contender just a couple wins away from a title shot. That opportunity never materialized, but Herman has been an active member of the UFC roster since 2006, which is certainly an accomplishment as well.
A wrestler from Team Quest, Herman does have a sneaky submission game and underrated power.
Herman faces a speed disadvantage in nearly every fight, and that’s not going to change with age. Luckily, Villante is only fast for a few minutes — afterward, he slows down to Herman’s speed.
At 38 years of age, Herman’s gas tank is not amazing either, but he at least has a more technical game to rely on once tired. In this case, I’d like to see the veteran focus on sapping Villante’s energy and will. Lots of clinch work along the fence and a few Southpaw left kicks to the gut should do the trick, leaving Villante less dangerous and more likely to lose an ugly grind.
Bottom Line: It’s a non-Top 10 Light Heavyweight fight, so keep your expectations low.
Are there any consequences for this type of fight? Not really. Villante has been consistently unimpressive throughout his entire UFC tenure, but since there aren't many available 205-pounders to replace him, his job still seems fairly safe even if he loses three-straight. The same is true for Herman, who is probably more likely to retire with a loss than be released.
At the same time, a win doesn’t do much aside from guarantee some extra job security. Neither man is going to suddenly turn into a world-beater and rush into the title mix. The fact of the matter is each man helps fill up Fight Night cards like this one, either opposite fellow veterans (this exact fight) or the occasional up-and-comer.
The stakes are low, but there is still a chance for excitement.
At UFC Fight Night 138, Gian Villante and Ed Herman will square off. Which man will have his hand raised?