UFC 220's Gian Villante thinks be broke hand with first punch, but 'I'm a meathead, so I keep going'

BOSTON – Gian Villante managed to snap a two-fight skid at Saturday’s UFC 220 event, but he isn’t happy about a few things.

First, there’s the possible damage it left behind: By the time Villante (16-9 MMA, 6-6 UFC) had gone backstage to speak to reporters following his win over Francimar Barroso (19-7 MMA, 4-4 UFC), he was under the belief he’d broken his right hand.

In fact, he thinks it happened with the first punch of the 205-pound bout, when it met the side of Barroso’s skull.

“First one, I could tell right away it was probably done,” Villante said after the main-card bout, which aired on pay-per-view from TD Garden in Boston. “But I’m a meathead, so I keep going.”

Villante said he’d never broken his hand before during a fight – or ever in his life, really. But a few signs led him to believe something was more seriously awry this time.

“Can’t close. It really hurts,” Villante said. “I’m a baby. Need my mom.”

Villante is aware that, whatever damage he’d suffered, it probably wasn’t made any better by the fact that he kept going for another three rounds. But, judging by his emphatic “hell no!” when asked about it, it’s not like he would ever consider throwing the towel.

And, in any case, he’s a resourceful man.

“Whatever. It hurts,” Villante said. “(I’ll use) my left hand to drink beer. That’s it.”

His resilience paid off in the end, when Villante walked away with the nod on the judges’ scorecards. But despite being back on the winning track after consecutive losses to Mauricio Rua and Patrick Cummins, Villante is not exactly ecstatic about how it happened.

Of course, there was the judge who saw the fight 29-28 in favor of Barroso – an odd scorecard, compared to the pair of 30-27 Villante-favorable ones that accompanied it.

“I hate that a judge could give it to him,” Villante said. “I heard (UFC President Dana White) in the corner, saying ‘You’ve got to be kidding’ after the one judge read it the other way.”

But mostly, he’s upset that he even needed the scorecards in the first place. Villante, after all, has become known for gritty displays that might not always look the prettiest – but get the fans excited. And faced with an opponent who wouldn’t play ball, Villante couldn’t hide his frustration.

In fact, he expressed it quite clearly in a mini-rant that addressed some of his key philosophies in the cage.

“I know what we’re all trying to do – well, not him anyway,” Villante said. “But most of us, when we fight, we’re trying to get these finishes. We’re trying to put on a show for the fans. If I’m going to be put on a good spot on the card, on a huge card – probably one of the best cards I’ve ever been on. I’m here to put on a damn show. I don’t care, win or lose.

“Most of the time, I don’t care if – I know it’s not a smart thing. Half my pay is based on if I win or lose. But I want to put on a damn show. And he didn’t want to. I really wanted to get the knockout. I really wanted the bonus, like always. I’m always fighting for bonuses. Even ‘Fight of the Night,’ I don’t care. Let’s put on a damn show.

“And he’s running that much? So scared that a judge could give it to him. And I hate judges. Sorry, I hate you all. It’s probably not going to help me get any scores my way in the future, but I don’t want scores. I want knockouts. And that’s hard to do if the guy’s running like that.”

For complete coverage of UFC 220, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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