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‘He can do it all’ – Australian fighter’s powerhouse UFC debut

Australian mixed martial artist Jack Della Maddalena has made a statement in his UFC debut with an impressive first round knockout over American Pete Rodriguez at UFC 270 in Anaheim, California.

This bout was Della Maddalena’s first bout as an official UFC fighter, four months after he secured a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in September 2021.

The entire 2:59 minute affair was a striking match, where Della Maddalena was able to show his ability to control space and timing, consistently using his jab to stun Rodriguez, then following up with a strong right hand. Della Maddalena showed an incredible understanding of distance as he was able to land shots then quickly slip out of range to avoid Rodriguez’s return blows.

Della Maddalena dropped his opponent with a stiff counter right after Rodriguez pushed forward, where the Australian would follow him to the ground and use measured and precise ground strikes to secure the victory.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan was impressed with the Aussie’s ability in the cage.

“He’s definitely got a tremendous amount of talent and he can do it all. Della Maddalena is something special, he is really good.”

After the fight, the Perth native said he felt comfortable about making his debut.

“To be honest, I was waiting for the jitters but they never came, so same as usual.”

In his post-fight press conference, Della Maddalena said his plan went nearly perfectly in the cage.

“The game plan was to chuck the jab out in his face and see what happened. I was gonna just jab him until the shot came. I feel like that’s what happened, the shot came and I pulled the trigger.”

While he welcomes a quick return to the octagon, Della Maddalena revealed the one thing that was preventing him from jumping back in right away.

“I’m getting married in March – fiancé won’t be too happy if I fight before then. April sounds good to me.”

The co-main event saw a thrilling flyweight title bout between the first Mexican-born UFC champion Brandon Moreno and Brazil’s former champion Deiveson Figueiredo, with Figueiredo walking away the new flyweight champion via unanimous decision, all three judges scoring the bout 48-47.

The bout was a thrilling back-and-forth affair which had audiences out of their seats for the full 25 minutes.

The duo are now one win each in their trilogy, with their first meeting resulting in a draw and their second, in June 2021, ending with Moreno becoming flyweight champ via rear naked choke.

Talk of a possible fourth fight was almost immediate, with Figueiredo saying in the cage: “I’m ready for a fourth fight with Brandon in Mexico. We’re going to be doing a fourth fight.”

A fourth meeting would mark the first quadrilogy of fights in UFC history.

The main event of UFC 270 saw heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou unify the heavyweight title against interim champion Ciryl Gane.

Ngannou, who holds the world record for the hardest punch ever recorded, surprised fans with his improved grappling and wrestling skills, and won via a unanimous decision – his first points victory in MMA.

After the fight, Ngannou revealed he was battling an injury coming into the bout.

“It’s been a rough training camp. Three weeks ago I hurt my knee, tore my MCL completely, hurt my ACL. I wanted to call off this fight, but I couldn’t see myself retreat from this fight. It was a moment for me to make a statement and to remind people that I am the champ.”

Dana White was notably absent from the post-fight press conference and was not in the cage to put the title around Ngannou’s waist, despite being there for Figueiredo a mere 30 minutes earlier.

White has not made any comments regarding UFC 270 or Francis Ngannou.

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