Jack Della Maddalena is widely recognized for his impressive boxing skills, but at UFC 284, he showed that he might have a problem with his fight iq. Facing off against Bassil Hafez, who was a short-notice replacement, Della Maddalena displayed his ability to adapt and secure a victory via decision.
The importance of facing a short-notice replacement was highlighted in the past when Conor McGregor lost to Nate Diaz at UFC 196. McGregor was originally preparing for a title fight against Rafael dos Anjos but ended up facing Diaz, who stepped in on short notice. McGregor’s lack of preparation for Diaz’s unique style cost him the win.
Likewise, Della Maddalena faced a similar challenge with Hafez as an unknown opponent. The pressure to secure a decisive win and protect his reputation forced him to go for a quick finish.
Throughout the bout, Della Maddalena repeatedly attempted the guillotine, even though it exposed him to dangerous positions. In the first round, Hafez capitalized on this and gained top control after countering Della Maddalena’s guillotine attempt.
However, in the second round, Della Maddalena found success with his striking, displaying his ability to excel in multiple aspects of the fight game. Yet, he still resorted to the guillotine, a decision that seemed questionable given its previous outcomes.
I have nothing to provide Twitter except this lovely exchange from JDM. Hafez switches southpaw to grab a lead hand control of the glove .. lets go, looks for it again- JDM sees he’s going to try it again and rips a nice combination pic.twitter.com/4GeEv9s0oH
— bubu (@AbuK47) July 16, 2023
In the third round, Della Maddalena attempted a RNC but was unable to secure the submission. Despite his questionable decision-making in terms of grappling sequences, Della Maddalena showcased his overall skills and tenacity.
While his eagerness to finish a short-notice opponent might have played a role in his decision-making, it is essential for Della Maddalena to assess and improve his grappling strategy for future.
Considering BJJ ace Craig Jones sang him praises, it was especially baffling seeing him repeat his mistakes time and time again. However, Della Maddalena still disputes his strategy failings.
— Just ripped a bong hit with my bear Ted (@stonedagainbro) July 16, 2023
“He got takedowns,” Della Maddalena said. “I don’t think he did too much but I don’t really care what anyone says. I’m here to fight. Bring it on. It doesn’t bother me at all [if people question my fight IQ].”
“I thought I landed the bigger shots,” Della Maddalena said. “You never know. Like when I heard the split decision, I thought it could go either way. The judges are always all over the place but I felt like I landed the bigger shots, he was shooting pretty desperately and I feel like on top he didn’t do a whole lot of damage.
“I’ll look back on it and see but I’m glad to get my hand raised and I’m happy for him. Big opportunity and he delivered.”
Looking ahead, Della Maddalena is eager to face Sean Brady,
Overall, Della Maddalena’s performance at UFC 284 demonstrated his potential as a well-rounded guy. By refining his grappling sequences and maintaining composure in high-pressure situations, he can continue to make an impact in the highly competitive world of mixed martial arts.