Jack Della Maddalena and Bassil Hafez squared off in a Welterweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., July 15, 2023) at UFC Vegas 77 inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was expected to be a blowout, but instead, the two fought tooth-and-nail for the full 15 minutes.
Hafez barreled out the gate with a powerful double leg into top position. Della Maddalena attacked with the guillotine then worked back to his feet, but he couldn’t shake the newcomer just yet. After about two minutes, Della Maddalena escaped back to the center. The two started trading wildly, and Hafez put him right back on the canvas with a high-crotch takedown.
This time, the Australian returned to his feet more quickly. He pressed Hafez into the fence, and the grappler swung wildly to back him off. For the third time, Hafez managed to score a takedown as Della Maddalena attempted a guillotine choke. He finished the round in top position, threatening an arm triangle choke.
Already, it was the longest fight of Jack Della Maddalena’s UFC career.
Della Maddalena denied the first takedown of the second, but Hafez actually landed some decent shots in response. Both men landed heavy in the following exchange, as Hafez’s wildness proved a decent foil for Della Maddalena’s more composed boxing. Hafez seemed to be losing steam though, as Della Maddalena was better able to shuck off takedown attempts and keep him stuck on the fence.
Before long, Della Maddalena was ripping body shots with great effectiveness. He seemed to be closing in on a potential finish, but ANOTHER guillotine attempt landed him on his back! Not a great display of decision-making from the Australian prospect. He spent the remainder of the round on his back, though Hafez didn’t land many shots.
After about a minute of light exchanges, Hafez shot in. His first and second attempts were denied, then huge left hook from Della Maddalena stunned him. Hafez was looking exhausted, and Della Maddalena teed off along the fence. The beating began to grown in severity, and eventually, Hafez landed in bottom position off a bad shot. Della Maddalena took his back and started chasing the finish, but he lost top position in the process!
It didn’t matter, ultimately. Hafez was too exhausted, and Della Maddalena won the rest of the grappling exchanges to clearly take the final frame. His strong third round swayed two of the three judges, awarding the Australian the split-decision win.
It wasn’t pretty, but Della Maddalena got it done! Of course, it should also be considered that he cut weight twice in a week. Still, Sean Brady might have given the Australian more trouble than most expected had the original match up remained intact.
Result: Jack Della Maddalena defeats Bassil Hafez via split-decision
For complete UFC Vegas 77: “Holm vs. Bueno Silva” results and play-by-play, click HERE!