Get to know Eternal MMA Champion Jack Della Maddalena Ahead of his Next Title Defense

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Jack Della Maddalena
Credit: Eternal MMA/Hitman Photography

Eternal MMA 51 goes down Saturday, February 29 and in the main event, it’s a battle between two top welterweight prospects out of Australia as Jack Della Maddalena will take on Glen Pettigrew. This bout was originally supposed to take place back in October, but fell through. Now, welterweight champ Maddalena will finally get back to work — riding a seven fight win streak, and facing Pettigrew for the second time in his career.

Before it all goes down, we thought you should get to know all about Jack Della Maddalena.

First of all, how did you get into MMA?
When I was extremely young I was a massive WWE fan so my brother and I would spend a lot of our time wrestling with each other which almost always lead to fistfights. We also played rugby since we were very young, so I have always had a very competitive spirit. At around 12 or 13 I started trading in WWE for MMA, different fighting videos and was intrigued. At around 13 or 14 I started boxing for fitness but really enjoyed the skills side of things and eventually joined my gym Scrappy MMA.

Do you have any background in any other sports? If so, explain?
The same as above, I have always had a massive involvement in rugby and have played competitively since I can remember. I think rugby translates to MMA through its physicality and its constant short explosive bursts. A lot of the positions in rugby really require strong hips and balance control which definitely correlate to positions within a fighting scenario.

What do you do for work or would MMA be your full-time job?
I work at a company called Key Factors, my role is basically analyzing companies’ abilities to make payment of invoices. Very different than MMA however it’s a good balance as being in an office really gets me excited to go and train at night and the mornings.

Who are you currently training with and who are some of your main sparring partners?
I train out of Scrappy MMA in WA, we have a really great team some incredibly talented and dedicated fighters so I am extremely grateful, my Brother Josh has always been a big part of my preparation for fights has a whole lot of knowledge and great skills, but everyone in the gym I can learn things from and put some serious work in with sparring.

List of accomplishments such as titles, belt ranks, etc…?
I have won and currently defending the Eternal MMA welterweight title, something that I am very proud of.

What are your favorite striking and grappling techniques?
I don’t really have any favorite. Different weeks or days, I may answer this differently. I love any techniques that are effective in live scenarios.

You’re set to fight Glen Pettigrew coming up. What do you think of him as an opponent and how do you see this fight playing out?
I think it is going to be an exciting fight for people to watch. He is a great competitor, [with] a pressure aggressive style who really leaves it on the line and pushes until the fight is over. I think it will be pure competition from start to finish.

What has been the biggest up and down of your career?
If you asked me this question after my first two losses I would definitely say those losses hurt however looking back they are one of the ups of my career from the knowledge and experiences I learned from them. I haven’t had too many other downs, however, I did have to pull out of one fight earlier in my career which was a bit down as I never do want to have to pull out of fights as I know how much work my opponent would have been putting in and I have respect for my opponents.

You lost your first two fights starting your pro career. What was going through your mind at the time and how did that change you as a fighter?
At the time it was tough to swallow those losses, however looking back I realized how off my mindset and preparation were for those fights so really it was the greatest way to learn what I was doing wrong and make the right changes.

You only fought once last year. Is the plan to fight more this year?
Absolutely, unfortunately, injuries held me back last year. It was good in a way to focus on getting better and also taking some time to reflect. This year if all goes to plan I definitely want to play catch up and have an active year.

If you weren’t fighting today where would you be?
I don’t think I would be much different, I would probably be putting my time that I put into MMA into some other type of competition or skillset.

Last question. Why do you fight and who do you fight for?
I have been extremely lucky in my life, I have great people who work hard that I can look up to and learn from. So the people that give me so much I find strong motivation through them. I fight because it’s a way I can put a lot of hard work and cannot cheat myself. If the work is not put in, there is no hiding it when you enter the competition and there is no way of faking anything in there. I also really enjoy the freedom of fighting there is a rule set however there are no rules on what style you can employ on that given night. I also just love competing, the buzz I get from the competition is like nothing else I have experienced.

Q&A

Favorite sports and sports team?
Favorite sport apart from MMA is Rugby Union. Unfortunately, Perth no longer has a team but I try to watch some of the Aussie teams and always watch the Wallabies play. Apart from that, I don’t really watch many sports outside of martial arts.

Favorite current and past MMA fighter?
I don’t have a favorite, I watch heaps of different fighters and try to take little things from everyone. Nick Diaz and Jorge Masvidal are probably the only two fighters I have watched all their fights multiple times.  I really like Petr Yan’s style, I definitely think he will be champion very soon.

Favorite movie?
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The original I have watched multiple times and probably Goodfellas.

Favorite TV show?
I don’t really get into TV shows a whole lot, I like documentary TV shows like Making a murderer or don’t F&#$ with cats. Messed up true stories like that I like.

Favorite cheat meal?
I love burgers, double cheeseburger nice and simple. I really like Dim Sum Sunday morning dim sum is a favorite in my household.

Skittles or M&M’s?
I use to love skittles when I was younger but I have matured and enjoy Peanut M&M’s now.

Ferguson or Khabib?
I think Ferguson will win. I don’t think the first two rounds will be too good for Ferguson but I think around halfway through the second round it will be the turning point.

Favorite workout?
Bag work is my favorite or a long uphill hike.

What’s a fear you have?
I’m claustrophobic, getting stuck in a tight cave is my worst nightmare.

What’s a goal you have?
Just to be successful in everything I do. I want to have a healthy family and be happy with what I have accomplished and done, no regrets.

Secret/Unknown talent?
I am a pretty good cook, I can whip up all sorts.

Pet peeve?
People who are aggressive when there is no need to be aggressive.

Least favorite fighter?
That’s a hard question, I don’t have a least favorite. I think fighters that use steroids or PEDs are unreasonable.

Shit talker or Sweet talker?
I’m not a big talker. I like to think I say it as it is.

Boldest MMA prediction?
Douglas Lima will be UFC welterweight champion within the next two years.

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