Remember the name Jack Della Maddalena.
The rising welterweight prospect is on track to become Australia’s next UFC superstar after going on a tear since being plucked from Dana White’s Contender Series in 2021 and given a UFC contract.
Maddalena is on an 11-fight winning streak and won all three of his UFC bouts last year via first round knockouts to be named the UFC’s Rookie of the Year.
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The 26-year-old is on a mission to climb up the rankings and will get the once-in-a-career chance to fight in his home town of Perth when he takes on veteran Randy Brown at UFC 284 this Sunday.
“I’m so excited,” Maddalena told news.com.au ahead of his first UFC fight on Australian soil.
“There’s a lot of buzz. People are excited. A lot of my friends are coming to the fight. It’s going to be a pretty crazy crowd.
“It’s pretty cool. I drive past the stadium a lot and I always thought I would fight there one day. Now it’s here it’s sort of surreal. I think it’s going to be incredible.”
Brutal knockout finishes bring added hype to any fighter and despite Maddalena’s calmness, there’s a sense the boy from Perth is a quiet assassin who wants to end fights as “quickly and cleanly as possible”.
Asked if he relishes the feeling of an early knockout and the referee stepping in to stop the fight, Maddalena said: “Yeah, 100 per cent.
“If you can cruise into a fight and take someone out early and you don’t have any battle scars, that’s perfect.
“That’s how I’d like it to go every single time. I try and get it over with as quickly and cleanly as possible. It’s definitely the goal.
“I try and finish the fight from the get go. I trust my fitness. I think I can push the pace for 15 minutes.
“If my opponent can stay in there I think I can just land a lot of shots and keep pushing the pace.
“But of course my plan from the get-go is to damage my opponent as much as possible and fast — get the damage levels up.”
Maddalena faces his toughest opponent yet in Brown and is prepared to go the distance — not that he’d like the fight to last that long.
“I’m going to come out hard from the get-go,” he said.
“I don’t want to knock him out any more than I already plan on doing.
“The plan is, I’m preparing myself to fight three five-minute rounds. My plan is to hit him over and over again for 15 minutes.
“I feel like I can push the pace and land a lot of significant strikes. And if it does go three rounds that’s the positive — I get more experience and it’s better for the fans, they get more for their money.”
Maddalena is currently 26th in welterweight rankings and has made no secret of his desire to climb the rankings in the coming years and eventually become champion of the division.
“I want to stay consistent and just have consistent fights and win every single one of them and get to the top and get the belt,” he said.
“Obviously it’s a long road but through consistency, the road will get shorter.
“I try to take the hardest possible fight I can, which has probably always been the first fight they’ve offered me.
“I’ve stepped up. I think every fight has been against a tougher opponent, in my opinion. That’s all you can ask for as a fighter. If it’s getting tougher than you’re already going up, which is the plan.
“If all goes well at UFC 284, I’d love to really push into the rankings. Whoever’s in the top 15 at the time, it’d be cool to have a fight and work my way through.”
Maddalena is just one of several Australians featuring on a stacked UFC 284 card headlined by the blockbuster lightweight title fight between Alex Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev.
“I think Volk’s going to beat him,” Maddalena declared.
“He’s very clever and he’s got a very smart style. His striking is very good and I think he’s a lot better on the feet than Makhachev. I think if he uses his footwork correctly he might be able to stay away from Makhachev especially if the fight goes into the later rounds and both guys are tired.
“I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Volkanovski finishes him in the later rounds, round five.”
Other Australians featuring on the card are Tyson Pedro, Jimmy Crute, Jack Jenkins and Josh Culibao.
WHEN IS UFC 284?
UFC’s first card in Australia since 2019 will be held on Sunday February 12 at Perth’s RAC Arena.
HOW TO WATCH UFC 284?
UFC 284 is available to stream via Main Event and Kayo. Purchase the pay-per-view for $59.95 here.
Live coverage begins at 2pm (AEDT). Alex Volkanovski and Islam Makhachev are expected to enter the octagon for the main event in the late afternoon from around 5pm.
FULL UFC 284 FIGHT CARD
Alex Volkanovski vs Islam Makhachev — lightweight title fight
Yair Rodriguez vs Josh Emmett — featherweight
Jack Della Maddalena vs Randy Brown — welterweight
Justin Tafa vs Parker Porter — heavyweight
Jimmy Crute vs Alonzo Menifield — light heavyweight
Tyson Pedro vs Modestas Bukauskas — light heavyweight
Josh Culibao vs Melsik Baghdasaryan — featherweight
Shannon Ross vs Kleydon Rodrigues — flyweight
Jamie Mullarkey vs. Francisco Prado — lightweight
Jack Jenkins vs Don Shainis — featherweight
Loma Lookboonme vs Elise Reed — strawweight
Shane Young vs Blake Bilder — featherweight
Zubhaira Tukhugov vs Elves Brenner — lightweight