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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway

Jack Della Maddalena not bothered by criticisms after win, wants Sean Brady at UFC 293 in Sydney

Jack Della Maddalena is not worried about people questioning his game after he edged out a win over short-notice newcomer Bassil Hafez at UFC on ESPN 49.

Della Maddalena (16-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) entered Saturday’s welterweight debut against Hafez (8-4-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas as a significant betting favorite. He got pushed to his limit by an opponent who stepped in on five days’ notice, but ultimately left with the split decision victory to remain unbeaten inside the octagon.

He thinks he could’ve done a whole lot better in the fight, but after making weight for UFC 290 last week and having his fight scheduled last minute, he did the best he could.

“It wasn’t my best performance, but it was a lot of fun,” Della Maddalena told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC on ESPN 49 post-fight news conference. “I came in and it was a crazy three weeks, and at the end of the day just have to get out there and grit out a tough fight. It was a tough fight. That’s what I came out here for.”

Despite Hafez performing well and beyond the expectations of many, Della Maddalena thinks the judges got it right, with two scoring it 29-28 in his favor and the other going 28-29 for Hafez.

“I thought I landed the bigger shots,” Della Maddalena said. “You never know. When I heard the split decision I thought it could go either way. The judges are always all over the place, but I felt like I landed the bigger shots. He was shooting pretty desperately. I feel like on top he didn’t do a whole lot of damage. I’ll look back on it and see. Glad to see my hand raised.”

Della Maddalena made it clear that he doesn’t really care what anyone says about his skills in the aftermath of the fight, but he hopes one person out there thinks they identified a weakness.

The Aussie was supposed to fight Sean Brady (15-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at UFC 290 before an injury occurred and his opponent got changed, and he would like nothing more than to see that bout put back together for UFC 293 in Sydney on Sept. 9.

“It’d be cool to do that fight – I think that was a great fight,” Della Maddalena said. “Hopefully he sees this and goes, ‘Yeah, I would love to go to Sydney.’ … I’d take Sean Brady. That was a fight I really put work into. He’s a high-ranked guy.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 49.

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