It wasn’t the most exciting fight, but Ilir Latifi was able to outpoint Gian Villante by unanimous decision this evening at UFC 196.
Villante misses with a kick to start, but lands a second to the legs. Now upstairs with a kick that’s blocked.
Villante with another leg kick, but Latifi moves in for a takedown at the same time. He pushes Villante all the way across the cage and presses him there.
Latifi not getting the takedown for now and they separate. Villante back to the kicks, landing a couple hard to the leg. Another one, but this time Latifi catches it and follows up with a right hand that lands. Latifi immediately rushes forward and presses his opponent up against the cage again.
Punch to the body from Latifi as they jockey for position in the clinch. Villante pushes away. Latifi misses with a hook. He lands a low side kick.
Another clinch initiated by Latifi against the cage. 90 seconds of the round remaining. They split apart again. Wide, winging punches from Latifi as he marches back into the clinch.
Latifi with a body punch as Villante gets free. Very hard body kick from Villante. Now upstairs, but that one’s blocked. He’s looking for another kick upstairs as the round ends.
Front kick attempts to the body from Villante. Leg kick for Latifi now. Now a left hand for him. He presses forward with urgency.
Leg kick for Villante, but Latifi closes the distance and lands a huge takedown. He tries to work to Villante’s back, but his opponent escapes and gets back upright.
Left hand for Villante. Body shot and a punch upstairs from Latifi. Kick for Villante. Latifi back into the clinch against the cage. He’s yet to get a takedown from this position though. Right hook from Latifi as his opponent moves away.
Solid right hgand over the top from Villante. Leg kick for him. 90 seconds of the round remaining as Latifi tries a kick. Now he attempts a spinning kick that doesn’t find it’s home.
Uppercut for Latifi. Another takedown for Latifi is stuffed by Villante, leaving him in that familiar clinch position against the cage. However, this time Latifi gets a body lock and dumps Villante to the mat. He looks to land ground and pound, but Villante finds his way back upright as the round ends.
Villante feeling out with kicks to start the final round. Body punch for Latifi and then his latest takedown attempt against the cage. He looks to scoop up Villante and they fall to the mat in a scramble and are back up with Latifi again working the cage clinch.
Villante breaks away. Three minutes to go and he needs to do something here. Winging overhand left from Latifi just misses. Spinning kick from Latifi doesn’t find the target. Big hook for Latifi lands.
Single leg attempt from Latifi is stuffed. Another big strike for Latifi. Body kick for Villante. Another left hook for Latifi. Now another one leading to a takedown. Just when it looks that Villante will defend it, Latifi rips him off the cage and dumps him down.
Final 10 seconds of the fight Villante scrambles up and looks to take Latifi’s back while they stand parallel to the fence and that’s where the fight ends.
Latifi always looked to have the edge in this fight and wins by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)