After a scheduled middleweight fight vs. Jake Rosholt had to be postponed due to injury combined with World Extreme Cagefighting’s announcement that the 185 pound division was going to be disbanded before year’s end, it appeared that the WEC career of American Top Team jiu-jitsu black belt Danillo Villefort might have been over before it started.
Villefort was a finalist at the International Fight League’s 2007 Draft tryouts in New York and debuted for the now-defunct promotion with an upset victory over Mike Massenzio on May 16 in Uncasville, Connecticut. Competing on a one-fight contract, the IFL did not attempt to re-sign Villefort while on the verge of financial collapse and the rising middleweight prospect received an offer from the Zuffa-owned WEC soon after.
With a move to the UFC’s middleweight division out of the question after having yet to compete for the WEC, it was thought that Villefort’s contract with Zuffa could be in jeopardy. However, according to a report by the Brazilian website Tatame, Villefort is remaining with the WEC and will move to the promotion’s welterweight division.
Villefort, a native of Brazil, has indicated that both his WEC and welterweight debut is now set for WEC 38 on January 25 in San Diego against an unnamed opponent.
The 8-2 prospect normally walks around at 205 pounds but believes he’ll be able to make the cut safely due to the team’s renowned training staff.
“I (haven’t weighed) 170 pounds since I was 17-years old,” Villefort revealed in an interview with Tatame. “But I don’t know if you ever heard about (André) Benkei. It’s him who’s making this magic! He makes miracles.”
Villefort is further preparing for the move by changing sparring partners at ATT, opting to work with a lighter group of fighters than before.
“(Normally) I`d train with Thiago Silva and Wilson Gouveia, but I’m (on) the diet and if I don’t watch out in training, I can hurt myself, so I’m already with the 170 guys,” he is quoted as saying. Tatame indicates that Villefort is now sparring with the likes of Gesias Calvancante, Thiago Alves, Gleison Tibau, and Lorenzo Borgomeo.