At the rate he was progressing through the ranks of mixed martial arts, the only person that could stop Gian Villante was Gian Villante.

And so it happened.

Villante, the heavyweight champion of Ring of Combat, dropped to light heavyweight for Friday night's Ring of Combat XXIX event in Atlantic City.

He was dominating his opponent, Demetrius Richards, in the first round. Until.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Until Villante went to stuff a throw attempt from Richards and suffered a match-ending injury to his arm. The fight was stopped with just over a minute left in the first round, giving Villante (6-1) his first professional loss.

Villante, from Levittown, told Fightin' Words on Saturday that he thinks his elbow might be broken, and he'll see a doctor on Monday. No word yet on how long he'll be out of action.