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Gian Villante makes the UFC cut

MMA fighter Gian Villante of Levittown throws a

MMA fighter Gian Villante of Levittown throws a medicine ball with his coach Jamal Hamid during a strength and conditioning workout at the Professional Athletic Performance Center in Garden City. (Sept. 14, 2012) Credit: Barry Sloan

A few weeks ago, Gian Villante was unsure of his next career opportunity.

Would the Strikeforce light heavyweight from Levittown, who was not on the promotion's final card last Saturday, become part of the UFC, or would he have to go searching for work elsewhere? (Zuffa owns both Strikeforce and UFC.)

On Tuesday night, those watching "UFC Tonight" on Fuel got that answer.

Villante (10-3, 3-2 Strikeforce) is one of two Strikeforce light heavyweights announced (so far) as newly deemed UFC fighters. The other was Gegard Mousasi, a former Strikeforce champion.

"Excited that when someone asks me what I do, and I say 'MMA fighter' and they go 'Oh, you mean UFC?', I can now agree with them instead of going on for 10 minutes about what Strikeforce is," Villante told Newsday.

Before making the move to Strikeforce in February 2011, Villante won both the heavyweight and light heavyweight titles for Ring of Combat.

Other Strikeforce fighters announced on Tuesday as UFC fighters include:


Daniel Cormier (11-0, 8-0 Strikeforce)


Roger Gracie (6-1, 4-1)
Tim Kennedy (15-4, 6-2)
Lorenz Larkin (13-0, 4-0)
Champ Luke Rockhold (10-1, 9-0)
Ronaldo Souza (17-3, 7-1)


Roger Bowling (11-3, 4-3)
Jason High (16-3, 3-0, 0-1 UFC)
Nate Marquardt (32-11-2, 1-1, 10-4 UFC)
Champ Tarec Saffiedine (14-3, 6-1)
Bobby Voelker (24-8, 4-1)


Ryan Couture (6-1, 6-1)
Pat Healy (29-16, 7-1 SF, 0-1 UFC)
Kurt Holobaugh (8-1, 0-1)
Adriano Martins (24-6, 1-0)
Champ Gilbert Melendez (21-2, 11-1)
K.J. Noons (11-6, 3-4)
Josh Thomson (19-5, 10-3, 2-1 UFC)


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