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Midnight Mania! Jack Della Maddalena scores short-notice replacement opponent, still can’t save UFC Vegas 77

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Rising Welterweight star Jack Della Maddalena got hosed last week. The Australian knockout artist was supposed to appear on UFC 290 opposite the highly ranked Sean Brady, but an injury to Brady nixed that bout. Then, UFC scrounged up a short-notice replacement opponent, but a pre-fight brain scan ended up potentially saving his life.

... And cancelling the fight!

As a result, Della Maddalena found no opponent and immediately looked to jump on the next card. Like UFC 290, UFC Vegas 77 is also scheduled to go down in Las Vegas, Nevada (shocker), but that’s about where the similarities end. UFC 290 was a high-profile pay-per-view (PPV) event that turned out to be the most electric show of the year, while UFC Vegas 77 is a 2023 Holly Holm main event with mostly Wikipedia-less fighters filling out the rest of the night (see full card here).

Fortunately, Della Maddalena is here to help. UFC once again managed to find a replacement opponent new to the roster, though a handful of well-known names offered to fill-in. Instead, he’ll face Bassil Hafez (8-3-1) according to a first report from Ariel Helwani.

Who is Hafez? The 31-year-old Pennsylvanian is a CFFC veteran, having come up just short for their Welterweight title in 2021. Since then, he’s won two fights in a row, and overall has stopped five opponents before the bell.

He’s in for a difficult task here. Della Maddalena hasn’t lost since 2016, winning his last 14 bouts. All but one of those victories came via stoppage and most were knockouts. He’s already broken into the Top 15 in a short period, and he seems likely to break into the title mix sooner than later.

If Hafez pulls it off, it’ll be one of the year’s biggest upsets. If nothing else, this match up does boost the truly dire show this weekend!


This is a great moment between former foes, but dang, Israel Adesanya seemed hammered at UFC 290.

It’s not easy to make a living as an MMA fighter, even in the UFC. That’s especially true for Flyweights.

I don’t think it’s possible to attain pound-for-pound king status and multiple title defenses with a rock-solid noggin.

Robbie Lawler did the dang thing.

UFC fighters on the basketball court is a recipe for hilarity 100% of the time.

Muhammad Mokaev rebounded from his knee injury like a champ!

Ian Garry absolutely shuts down Joaquin Buckley’s attempt to talk himself into a fight with “The Future.”

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Man dove into that left hook like a lawn dart ... and it worked!

Werasingh seemed to think the referee was about to break them up and instead ate a massive elbow.

A serious beatdown along the fence:

Random Land

The new globe stadium in Vegas is pretty wild, and it could hold fights someday!

Midnight Music: Alternative, 1994

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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