LAS VEGAS – Jack Della Maddalena doesn’t deny his DMs and comments on social media weren’t kind after his July win over UFC newcomer Bassil Hafez, but he’s honestly OK with that.
Following a UFC 290 cancellation, Della Maddalena (15-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) was rebooked vs. Hafez (8-4-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and squeaked by with a split decision victory. The lack of dominance became the subject of critique, but Della Maddalena embraces the negativity – because he agrees with it.
“I think it’s fair play,” Della Maddalena told MMA Junkie and other reporters at a Noche UFC pre-fight news conference Wednesday. “This is sport for the fans. I think they have the right to their opinion. It didn’t really bother me. I felt like it wasn’t a good performance, so fair play. … It’s hard to shut them up. I feel like they’re always going to be talking. I don’t really mind. It doesn’t really bother me. I think it’s just the way the sport is.”
Della Maddalena will have the opportunity to prove what he’s capable of Saturday when he battles Kevin Holland (25-9 MMA, 12-6 UFC) in a co-main event bout at T-Mobile Arena.
Holland rides high off a quick submission of Michael Chiesa at UFC 291 in July, though Della Maddalena wasn’t overly impressed by that performance. Regardless, Della Maddalena sees Holland as a tricky puzzle to figure out. The stakes, however, make the matchup worth it.
“I don’t know what to expect. I don’t really care,” Della Maddalena said. “I’m coming to fight. Whatever happens leading up to it happens. There’s definitely going be a time for fighting, so I’m just waiting for that. … I think a good win over Kevin Holland will get me in a nice spot to fight one of the top contenders.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for Noche UFC.