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Jack Della Maddalena’s new last-minute opponent for UFC 290 revealed

The Australian fan-favorite will face Octagon newcomer, Josiah Harrell, on UFC’s big International Fight Week card from Las Vegas, Nevada, this weekend.

UFC 284: Makhachev v Volkanovski Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

Rising Australian prospect, Jack Della Maddalena, will remain on this week’s upcoming UFC 290 card in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It wasn’t looking good for the exciting No. 14-ranked fighter after his original No. 8-seeded opponent, Sean Brady, withdrew from their bout citing a bad staph infection. Could UFC find someone worthy on just one-week notice?

It probably helped that Della Maddalena voiced a willingness to face any comer at Welterweight or Middleweight. Now, we have the name of the man UFC picked: Josiah Harrell, a.k.a. “Muscle Hamster.”

The booking was revealed by Harrell’s friend and long-time UFC ass-kicker, Matt “The Immortal” Brown.

“Good friend of mine just got called to fight on a weeks notice UFC next weekend,” Brown wrote on Twitter. “Always great to see good things happen to good people you’re all going to see him on tv and he will surprise you all! Ohio MMA on the rise!

“Josiah is going to surprise people I can promise that,” Brown continued. “A weeks notice against Jack is a tall order but Joey is special and he’ll show it.”

We’re happy to hear Della Maddalena is still competing (and a friend of Brown’s is getting his opportunity in UFC) but it’s too bad the UFC didn’t go with any of the better-known opponents who threw their hats into the cage when the call went out for an opponent.

Kevin Holland, Chris Curtis and Joaquin Buckley all offered to fight Della Maddalena on social media, with Buckley suggesting UFC wasn’t willing to sweeten the pot to sign his services.

Now, Della Maddalena will face the unknown — but undoubtedly tough — “Muscle Hamster” at UFC 290. Harrell is a 24-year-old who is undefeated as a professional (7-0) and almost perfect as an amateur (6-0-1). Every single one of his professional fights has ended with a finish, including his last three by knockout.

As for Della Maddalena, he’s 14-2 and on four-fight win streak in UFC. He’s only ever gone to a judges’ decision once in his career. Most recently, he took out Randy Brown via rear-naked choke in the first round of their fight at UFC 284 in Perth, Australia (watch highlights).

UFC 290 goes down this upcoming weekend (Sat., July 8, 2023) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Keep it locked to for all the news and updates coming out of this big card.

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 290 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+/ABC at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 290: “Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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