Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group

UFC on ESPN 49 results: Jack Della Maddalena avoids big upset in battle with Bassil Hafez

Bassil Hafez performed way beyond expectations in his short-notice promotional debut against Jack Della Maddalena at UFC on ESPN 49, but ultimately didn’t have enough in the tank to secure the upset.

After Hafez (8-4-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had a strong start to the welterweight fight after stepping up on five days’ notice, Della Maddalena (15-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) closed the fight with some heavy damage and convinced the judges at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas to avoid him with a split decision win. The scores were 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.

“I thought it could go either way,” Della Maddalena said in his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier. “When I heard it was a split, the judges don’t always make good decisions, so, I thought I had a good shot.”

Hafez started super aggressive and took Della Maddalena down in the opening 10 seconds of the fight. He spent nearly two minutes pressuring Della Maddalena before the fight got back to its feet, where they exchanged and each landed hard shots. Hafez kept pursuing the takedowns throughout the round and and found moments of success on the feet, as well, to close a surprising first round for the promotional newcomer.

Della Maddalena entered a second round for the first time in his UFC career, and he responded well. Hafez tagged him on the feet multiple times and kept chasing the takedown, but Della Maddalena stayed composed and landed some hard shots that had Hafez wilting. He made a crucial error with a mistimed takedown attempt, however, which allowed Hafez to spend nearly the entirety of the final two minutes on top.

In a desperate situation to start the final round, Della Maddalena forced Hafez to exchange with him and started to land some huge blows. Hafez’s conditioning fell off a cliff after taking the fight on short notice, and he struggled to take the shots while exhausted. Della Maddalena poured it on and took the back off a failed takedown. He threatened with a submission as well as ground-and-pound, but then Hafez reversed the position with one minute remaining. Della Maddalena managed to get back on top to close out a tension-filled close to the fight.

“I did expect (him to be so tough),” Della Maddalena said. “The guy with such a big opportunity o come out here and bring the fight. That’s what I wanted. I wanted a three-round fight, so cheers, Bassil.”

The fight was the first time in Della Maddalena’s UFC tenure thus far that he hasn’t finished a fight in the first round. He’s won five straight at 170 pounds, though, which is tied for the longest active UFC streak in the weight class.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 49 results include:

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

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.