Gian Villante on controversial UFC 159 eye poke: 'All I needed was 10 seconds'


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

gian-villante-5.jpgGian Villante needed just 10 seconds – just 10 seconds to shake off an accidental eye poke and get back into his fight at Saturday’s UFC 159 event.

Instead, Villante (10-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) honestly answered that he couldn’t see at that exact moment, and his light-heavyweight bout with fellow Strikeforce import Ovince St. Preux (13-5 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was instantly waved off.

The result, which aired on the FX-televised preliminary card, prompted a chorus of boos from the crowd at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Throughout the first round, St. Preux often swung wildly, and Villante sensed some of the open-hand strikes could be dangerous. But he said he couldn’t imagine referee Kevin Mulhall would so quickly wave off the fight after he got poked just 33 seconds into the second round.

“He’s just looking at me and not saying a word,” Villante told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “Ovince knows he poked me, I know he poked me, but the ref, I guess, was watching the girl in the third row. I don’t know. I couldn’t see for a second. I just blinked my eye to try to get some fluid back in there. I would have been fine 30 seconds later. I thought I had five minutes. All I needed was 10 seconds. But they ended it.”

While Mulhall was slow to even acknowledge Villante needed a timeout, he quickly stopped the bout after asking the fighter if he could see. Villante answered honestly and said he couldn’t, which he figured would give him some recovery time. But Mulhall went with a strict interpretation of the rules, and unlike groin shots, eye pokes don’t allow for up to five minutes to recover.

“He just ended the fight right there,” he said. “I don’t know what was I supposed to say. And if I did know what to say, I’m in the middle of a fight. I’m not going to think, ‘What is the exact rule on what to say when you get poked in the eye?’ I’m going to say exactly how I feel. I can’t see for this second, but give me a second, and I’ll be all right.”

Despite the unfortunate ending, Villante, who saw a three-fight win streak snapped, said he holds no ill will toward St. Preux.

“It’s not like he did it intentionally,” Villante said. “I don’t think anything like that. I guess I poked him (in the eye) the round before, and the ref still was just looking at him. I’m not just going to hit him while the ref is looking at him. It’s just so weird.

“He did the same thing to me. When he poked me, he know he poked me, and he stopped me. And the ref just looked at us. I don’t know what we’re supposed to say.”

After the fight, Villante said he felt more disappointment than anger or resentment. He now knows that the Unified Rules of MMA essentially prompted the referee to handle the situation like he did.

“I don’t know how to feel really,” he said. “I guess you feel like you got screwed, but I don’t know exactly by who. It’s weird. It’s a weird feeling.”

And as for a rematch, Villante said he’s certainly open to it. He doesn’t feel any hostility toward St. Preux, but he also doesn’t want a loss to go on his resume that’s unavenged.

“If that’s going to count as a loss, hell yeah I want one,” he said. “If that’s a loss, I a million percent want one. But I don’t see how it’s a loss.”

For complete coverage of UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 23 days ago
  • 47 views

LAS VEGAS – Kevin Casey needed just 61 seconds to notch a win in his return to the UFC, using a devastating left hook to put “Bubba” Bush down before finishing him with elbows. Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 29 days ago
  • 6165 views

Sorry/not sorry. Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion and clean-sport crusader Georges St. Pierre came out in support of his "good friend" and fellow Canadian, Jimmy Cournoyer, after the "King of Pot" plead guilty to drug trafficking (more on that here). Turns out, some of his fans were not too happy about it. "Rush" penned a letter for the mixed martial arts (MMA) community earlier today (Sun., June 29, 2014) to explain the circumstances behind their relationship, f more

  • 29 days ago
  • 74 views

The UFC has been putting on more fights than ever in 2014. While the uptick in events has had its drawbacks, MMA fans have been treated to a bunch of great fights. Following UFC Fight Night 43 and UFC Fight Night 44 on Saturday, the 2014 MMA schedule is half-completed. Before we look forward to a strong finish to the calendar, now is a good time to look back at some of the brightest moments from the past six months. Yeah, there have been some duds. However, most fights have delivered and kept us more

  • 28 days ago
  • 157 views

The UFC is full of some of the most gifted athletes in sports, and it didn't take long for Americans to find out. According to digital marketing gurus Compete Pulse, in 2006, the UFC became the fastest growing sport in America. Things haven't slowed down since then, as UFC pay-per-view events continued to rack up huge numbers, surpassing 1 million buys on many occasions, most recently during UFC 168, according to MMAPayout.com. So, what's the root cause for the epic success of this organization? more

  • 28 days ago
  • 28 views

From Yahoo Sports: The Canadian challenger, on many levels, is different from the popular foe she faces Saturday. more

  • 27 days ago
  • 38 views

Nate Marquardt closed out Saturday's UFC event in Auckland, New Zealand with a submission win over James Te Huna. However, the former middleweight title challenger still fell short of scoring the most impressive submission of the weekend. That honor went to Charles Oliveira, who locked up an anaconda choke against Hatsu Hioki. While we have seen anaconda chokes executed previously inside the Octagon, nobody had ever forced the Japanese featherweight to tap. For that reason alone, Oliveira's win more

  • 27 days ago
  • 27 views

UFC women’s bantamweight Jessica Eye doesn’t buy in to champ Ronda Rousey’s explanation for why she beat Sara McMann.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 26 days ago
  • 42 views

According to oddsmakers, Alexis Davis is the biggest underdog on the UFC 175 bill. more

  • 26 days ago
  • 33 views

When thinking about competitors who lack experience inside the Octagon, prospects come to mind. However, some of the best fighters in the world have only had a couple of UFC bouts. A select few, such as Eddie Alvarez, have never even competed on the biggest stage in MMA. While it's not easy to climb the ranks in smaller promotions, highly ranked UFC newcomers can fight their way to a championship rather quickly. Right now, multiple fighters with less than four UFC appearances are set to compete more