Gianpiero Villante, known popularly as Gian Villante, is an American mixed martial artist. He currently fights for Ultimate Fighting Championship in the light heavyweight division. Born in Wantagh, New York, he used to take part in New York State Championships in his early years. During his junior year, he stood at the third position in the Championship. Also an avid footballer, he had won the Thorpe Award while playing for MacArthur High School. Later, he started training at MMA, and shortly after, he made his MMA debut. Eventually he also made his debut at the Ring of Combat. During his fighting career at the UFC, he has won the Fight of the Night championship three times. He also won the Ring of Combat Heavyweight Championship twice. He signed a deal with Strikeforce in 2011, after which he faced Chad Griggs in a Heavyweight Grand Prix Reserve Bout. However, he lost the fight. Later, at the ‘Strikeforce Challengers: Gurgel vs Duarte’, he won his first fight at the Strikeforce after defeating Keith Berry.
Gian Villante got involved in wrestling during his junior year of college. Though he stood at third place at the New York State Wrestling Championship during his first try, in his Senior Year, he eventually won the Championship. He was also an avid footballer, and won the Thorpe Award in 2002, while playing for MacArthur High School.
Later, while studying at Hofstra University, he remained devoted to his football career, as well as wrestling. He played as a middle linebacker and his brilliant performance led him to be named a 1st Team Defensive I-AA All-American by the Sports Network. Though he was considered a prospect for the NFL, he decided to stay more focused in his career in combat sports instead.
Shortly after training in MMA, he made his MMA debut and defeated veteran Randy Durant during his first match. Soon after, he made his debut at the Ring of Combat, where he went on to win the vacant Ring of Combat Heavyweight Title, after successfully defeating Mike Cook.
He started competing for Strikeforce in 2011. He lost his first match against Chad Griggs. In his second fight, he faced Lorenz Larkin, where he was defeated again. However, he won his third fight against Keith Berry in the Strikeforce Challengers: Gurgel vs. Duarte. After his win against Derrick Mehmen, he was scheduled to face the undefeated Guto Inocente on the Strikeforce: Melendez vs Healy. However, the fight was cancelled by Showtime.
Gian Villante made his debut at the UFC in 2013, where he lost his debut match against St Preux. He had his first UFC victory after defeating Cody Donovan in November 2014. However, he lost his third fight against Fabio Maldonado. Over his career at the UFC, he has won the ‘Fight of the Night Championship’ three times.
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Gianpiero Villante was born in Wantagh, New York, in the US on 18 August 1985. His parents are Josephine and Sal Villante. He had a keen interest in sports from an early age. He studied at the Hofstra University from 2003 to 2007. He hasn’t revealed much to the media or the public regarding his personal life.