Gian Villante replaces Robert Drysdale against Cody Donovan at UFC 167


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Instead of the promotional debut of light heavyweight grappling ace Robert Drysdale at UFC 167, fans will see Long Island’s Gian Villante (10-4) square off opposite Cody Donovan (8-3) at the event.

An earlier report via stated that Drysdale was denied a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to an elevated testosterone level. MMA Fight Corner later confirmed the report with NSAC executive director Keith Kizer who stated the out-of-competition drug test revealed Drysdale had a 19.4 to 1 testosterone to epitestosterone level. The accepted ratio is 6 to 1. Therefore, he was denied the fight license.

UFC officials have confirmed that stepping in for Drysdale is Villante. The former Hofstra University wrestler and linebacker is in search of his first win the Octagon. After being poked in the eye by Ovince St. Preux in his UFC debut, the referee waved off the contest. Villante found himself on the losing side of a majority decision.

Donovan is also coming off of a loss to St. Preux, but took home a win in his UFC debut. At UFC on  FX 6, Donovan was called up on less than two weeks notice to face Nick Penner and knocked out his opponent in the first round.

UFC 167 is set for Nov. 16 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Headlining the card is a battle for the welterweight championship as title holder Georges St-Pierre faces challenger Johny Hendricks.

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