Gian Villante moves to heavyweight, takes on Ben Rothwell at UFC 249
Gian Villante is moving up.
The Long Island native will fight in his home state of New York when he takes on Ben Rothwell at UFC 249.
MMA Junkie confirmed the booking with a person with knowledge of the situation following an initial report by Newsday on Monday.
Villante (17-11 MMA, 7-8 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over the span of his past four outings. After he defeated Francimar Barroso in January 2018, Villante dropped a split decision to Sam Alvey in June of the same year.
In October 2018, Villante earned a split-decision nod against Ed Herman. His most recent fight came in February, when Villante was finished by strikes in 94 seconds by Michal Oleksiejczuk.
As for Rothwell (37-12 MMA, 7-6 UFC), the Wisconsin-based big man is riding momentum from a controversial TKO victory at UFC on ESPN 7 in early December 2019. After striking Struve in the groin multiple times, Rothwell rallied to pick up a late second-round stoppage. The win snapped a three-fight losing streak.
UFC 249 takes place April 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The main card streams on pay-per-view following prelims likely on ESPN and ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass.
With the addition, the UFC 249 lineup now includes:
- Champ Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson – for lightweight title
- Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas
- Uriah Hall vs. Ronaldo Souza
- Ben Rothwell vs. Gian Villante