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SportsMixed Martial Arts

UFC 196 adds Gian Villante vs. Ilir Latifi

Gian Villante prepares to spar with UFC

Gian Villante prepares to spar with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman at Longo & Weidman MMA in Garden City on July 15, 2015. Photo Credit: Mario Gonzalez

Gian Villante has been looking for a fight for quite some time. More than two months removed from his last UFC fight, Villante recently took to Twitter to see who might want to fight him.

He politely asked fellow UFC light heavyweights Ilir Latifi and Ed Herman if they would be interested in exchanging fists and kicks and whatever else inside the octagon one day soon.

“Hey @Latifimma congrats on your quick win,” Villante tweeted. “I’m sure your healthy and ready to go again. Think we’d have a fun fight.”

Then, Villante tweeted, “Hey @EdHermanufc just watched @ufc fights again. Congrats on your bonus, well deserved. Lets go double up on that bonus.”

Well, Villante finally has a taker.

Villante, from Levittown, will fight Latifi at UFC 196 on March 5 in Las Vegas.

That card is headlined by featherweight champion Conor McGregor challenging Rafael dos Anjos for his lightweight title and Holly Holm defending her women’s bantamweight title against Miesha Tate.

The No. 14-ranked Villante (14-6) has won three of his last four fights. Most recently, Villante knocked out Anthony Perosh in the first round at UFC 193 in Australia last November.

No. 15 Latifi (12-4), from Sweden, has won his last two fights, both by first-round stoppage. He knocked out Sean O’Connell 30 seconds into their fight at UFC Fight Night in Boston on Jan. 17.

New York Sports