UFC’s Jack Della Maddalena and Nathaniel Wood promoted to BJJ Black belts

UFC welterweight contender Jack Della Maddalena and featherweight contender Nathaniel Wood have recently attained the prestigious rank of black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, marking significant milestones in their respective careers.

Jack Della Maddalena emerged as a promising force in the UFC welterweight division following his entry via Dana White’s Contender Series in 2022. The 27-year-old Australian showcased his prowess by securing victories over four opponents, culminating in impressive finishes. Notably, Maddalena showcased his mettle in a hard-fought battle against veteran contenders Bassil Hafez and Kevin Holland, triumphing via split decision.

However, it was Maddalena’s recent showdown with established welterweight Gilbert Burns at UFC 299 that garnered widespread attention. In a display of skill and determination, Maddalena delivered a knockout blow to secure victory in the final round, maintaining his undefeated record in the UFC with a remarkable tally of 17 wins and 2 losses.

Despite his formidable grappling skills, Maddalena’s journey to the coveted black belt was a recent development. Endorsed by ADCC silver medalist Craig Jones, Maddalena, alongside his brother Josh, received the esteemed promotion from coach Ben Vickers, as announced by their team ‘Scrappy MMA’ on social media.

Similarly, UFC featherweight contender Nathaniel Wood, renowned for his accomplishments in the bantamweight division, recently attained the prestigious black belt status in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Wood’s ascent in the UFC ranks has been marked by his transition to the featherweight division in 2022, where he secured notable victories over prominent opponents.

Wood’s journey to black belt status culminated after his compelling superfight against fellow UFC contender Mason Jones at Polaris 27 on March 23. With a distinguished background as the former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion, Wood’s progression in the UFC has been characterized by his resilience and skillful performances.

While Wood encountered a setback with a loss to Muhammad Naiov at UFC 294 last October, his dedication to mastering Brazilian jiu-jitsu underscores his commitment to evolving as a well-rounded martial artist.