Australia’s Jack Della Maddalena has earned a UFC contract on week three of Dana White’s Contender Series in Las Vegas.
After three hard fought rounds, the Welterweight hopeful scored a unanimous decision win over Congo-born Ange Loosa.
With this came the approval of UFC president, Dana White.
As the criteria of the event is to fight and impress UFC matchmakers in hope of being signed by the promotion, Della Maddalena ticked every box on his way to victory.
In the opening minutes of the fight, the 25-year-old had to weather a storm of leg kicks from Loosa.
From this point, Della Maddalena’s superior boxing took over. At the half-way point of the first, a tight right hook wobbled Loosa, leading to a number of openings for punches to both the head and body.
The second round started in similar fashion for the Australian who started to increase in output. In fact, by the time the horn sounded to end the second, he had outstruck Loosa 71-47 in terms of significant strikes.
Switching to southpaw, Della Maddalena landed combinations, all while keeping a tight guard and moving his head to avoid Loosa’s attacks.
Clearly fatigued entering the final round, the Perth native’s beautiful defensive movement started to dissipate. Showing determination to grind out the win, though, he continued to move forward throwing heavy combinations.
Even if he had to wear a few punches in the process, Della Maddalena was still able to finish 16 strikes the better of Sandford MMA’s Loosa in the third.
None of this is to suggest he fought without adversity however. After slipping over during the second round, Loosa pounced on the opening to lock in a head and arm triangle that looked to have fight ending potential.
With the submission applied, Della Maddalena was able to explode out of the hold, moving from his back onto his right side and eventually to his feet.
Further takedown attempts were thwarted by the Australian, who leant on his judo background to scramble out of danger.
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As the final horn sounded to conclude three action packed rounds, all in attendance were aware that they had seen a phenomenal fight.
UFC President Dana White was shown standing and applauding two fighters who left everything in the cage.
Online, a host of UFC stars took to social media to show their appreciation of the performance.
While it was a boxing heavy performance, all-round superiority was shown. So much so that all three judges scored the fight the same, 30-27 in favour of Della Maddalena.
With the win, he now moves to 10-2 as a professional, extending his current win streak to 10 in the process.
The exhausted but elated victor was very reflective of his performance post-fight.
“I was a bit slow on some of those counters. If I was a bit sharper I probably would’ve got him out of there,” Della Maddalena told UFC analyst Laura Sanko.
“He was tough. Obviously the Congo built them pretty tough, but not as tough as the Australians.
“He got me down a couple of times, I feel like I got the reversal. It was a fight and I feel like I won the fight overall, so happy days.”
While ultimately happy with his performance, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt did concede that a stoppage was his desired outcome.
“I would have liked to have got that finish,” Della Maddalena said.
“I was saying before that I’m a finisher, obviously not a perfect finisher but next time I’ll get that finish.”
Despite the honest self-critique, Dana White gave his clear approval of Della Maddalena.
“All I can say about this fight is wow!” White said post fight.
“Jack didn’t just show us a little bit of everything, he showed us a lot of everything. No matter where this fight went this kid was really good.
“He can hit, he’s got a great chin, he’s got unbelievable stamina. He’s only 25-years-old and the kid is 10-2.
“I expect big things from this kid, he wasn’t wrong. Get over here, Jack.”
Fellow Australian Junior Tafa will be looking to follow Della Maddalena’s lead when he competes on the Contender Series on October 20.
The 24 year old Tafa will have all the motivation he needs. Having seen older brother Justin and close friend Tai Tuivasa compete in the UFC Heavyweight division, he will be looking to throw his name into the ranks of MMA’s World leader.
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