Welcome to Midnight Mania!
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.
| Newly crowned UFC Flyweight Champion Alexandre Pantoja was driving for Uber Eats two fight’s ago and only stopped working for the company after he got his $50K bonus vs Brandon Royval.— MMA Orbit (@mma_orbit) July 10, 2023
[per @arielhelwani / The MMA Hour]#UFC290 #UFC #MMA pic.twitter.com/LuxOunUG5m
I don’t think it’s possible to attain pound-for-pound king status and multiple title defenses with a rock-solid noggin.
We need to start putting Volk in the chin rankings aswell as P4P— ᴛʜᴇᴀʀᴛᴏꜰᴡᴀʀ (@TheArtOfWar6) July 10, 2023
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!
“Should’ve tap to this knee bar”— Muhammad Mokaev (@muhammadmokaev) July 7, 2023
“He’ll never be back same again”
Past 12 weeks I keep seeing all this negative comments, but Alhamdulillah I’m back!
Today I’m doing full wrestling matches, with silver Russian championships medalist 65kg Ibragim Ibragimov
Dinamo Wrestling… pic.twitter.com/3yWgPwP47k
Ian Garry absolutely shuts down Joaquin Buckley’s attempt to talk himself into a fight with “The Future.”
He’s on another planet… pic.twitter.com/u88d6PSOvG— “The Future” Ian Machado Garry (@iangarryMMA) July 8, 2023
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Man dove into that left hook like a lawn dart ... and it worked!
1 second KO by Valer Ramazanashvili! at GAMA pic.twitter.com/RFm1ulhqli— Matysek (@Matysek88) July 7, 2023
Werasingh seemed to think the referee was about to break them up and instead ate a massive elbow.
Insane elbow knockout from yesterday— MixingMartialArts.Substack.com (@RyanAWagMMA) July 7, 2023
Jaturat sweeps Werasingh into the ropes and decapitates him with an elbow on the round pic.twitter.com/rMh8fX0Ryp
A serious beatdown along the fence:
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.