NEWARK, N.J. - The follow-through on Gian Villante's thunderous right hand that stopped the fight wasn't the rest of his body. It was pure confidence.
"I know when I'm in there and I'm able to fight and just be in there, I'm going to make a dent in this division," the UFC light heavyweight from Levittown said. "But I gotta be able to do that."
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He started by putting a dent in Corey Anderson's head, knocking him out with 42 seconds left in their fight Saturday night at UFC on Fox 15 at the Prudential Center.DatabaseLong Island's UFC fight history
Villante (13-5, 3-2 UFC) connected on a perfectly clean shot to Anderson's left temple, wobbling his legs and sending him stumbling backward toward the fence with his back turned halfway around. Villante followed up with two more punches before the referee stepped in to stop the bout.
"If I was a little bit tired, it was out the window right there," Villante said. "I threw everything I had right at him. Someone told me there was 40 seconds left, it was gonna be 40 seconds of me throwing my heart into it."
He needed that stoppage. Heading into the third round, two judges had it tied at one round apiece and the third judge scored the first two rounds in favor of Anderson (6-1, 2-1). The momentum in the third round swayed toward Anderson -- until Villante uncorked that right hand.
"I heard [trainer] Keith [Trimble] screaming, 'Throw the right hand, throw your right,'" Villante said "I knew if I didn't do it, he might kill me."
Villante, 29, pushed the action with leg kicks, each one sounding harder than the previous.
"When they fight me, they know they're not going out that night because I'm taking that leg home with me," Villante said.
Anderson (6-1, 2-1) had countered with head strikes for much of the fight, but by the third round, it was clear Anderson was concerned about Villante's kicks.
"Corey was definitely thinking of the leg kicks," Trimble said. "You could see him trying to anticipate the leg kick, he wasn't even thinking about having a right hand being thrown at him. We just kept calling and screaming and screaming 'Throw the right hand.'
"He finally heard us, finally listened."
After the win, Villante stepped back and dropped to his knees. He gave the sign of the cross and then touched his head to the ground in relief and joy.
"There were no problems, no excuses, no sickness, no nothing," Villante said. "I was able to go in there and fight my fight and have fun. It was just a great, great feeling.
It's the first time Villante has won back-to-back fights in the UFC. He also won fight of the night and a $50,000 bonus.
"It's huge for Gian because sometimes I believe he doubts himself," Trimble said. "It should prove to him that he belongs here, that he's a UFC fighter and he belongs to be a UFC fighter."