Gian Villante cleared the first hurdle Friday night, but it wasn’t easy.
“Everywhere I look, I see food,” Villante texted Newsday on Friday afternoon.
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Villante, of Levittown, managed to look but not touch in the final hours as he completed a 25-pound cut in 18 days to make weight for UFC 167 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Villante, a light heavyweight who trains at Bellmore Kickboxing Academy, weighed in at 205 pounds. His opponent, Cody Donovan, weighed 205 pounds.
Donovan, however, had a full training camp to prepare. Villante had less than three weeks. He accepted the fight against Donovan as an replacement for Robert Drysdale, who was not cleared for a license in Nevada after failing a test during training camp for elevated levels of testosterone.
The weight of making weight weighed on Villante’s mind as soon as he hung up the phone with his manager when he first booked the fight. Villante (10-4, 0-1 UFC) immediately went from falling asleep on the couch during Monday Night Football to running on the treadmill in his home.
With the fight now a day away, Villante’s mind is singular in its thought patterns now. No need to think about the calories and the opponent anymore. Now, it’s about the fight.
“All I want to do is go forward and throw punches,” Villante said last week. “If I do that the whole time, I’m winning. It’s just, get that in my head that I have to throw and not care about anything else and I’ll be fine.”
Donovan (8-3, 1-1) is coming off a loss to Ovince St. Preux, as is Villante.