Welcome to the UFC: Bassil Hafez

Bassil Hafez, UFC
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 14: Bassil Hafez poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on July 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC Vegas 77 goes down at the Apex with a full 13-fight card. The event is filled with fighters looking to get their first UFC win, and headlined by Holly Holm vs. Mayra Bueno Silva. Jack Della Maddalena was supposed to fight on the UFC 290 PPV last week but couldn’t keep an opponent. He decided to stay in Vegas in hopes to getting a quick fight and here we are. JDM will be welcoming newcomer Bassil Hafez to the UFC.

Bassil “The Habibi” Hafez
Standing at five-foot-eleven
Fighting at 170 lbs (welterweight)
Fighting out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Training out of Elevation Fight Team
A pro record of 8-3-1
1 KO/TKO, 4 Submissions

How will Hafez fare in the UFC:

It’s been a long road for Hafez and he’s finally in the UFC. In 2020 he upset top prospect Christien Savoie to win the CFFC welterweight title. He then lost his title to a tough veteran in Evan Cutts. After that, he beat former UFC fighter Anthony Ivy and then got his rematch against Cutts. Hafez beat Cutts by knockout becoming a two-time CFFC welterweight champion.

Hafez is a jiu-jitsu black belt and that should always be his goal, to take the fight down. On the feet, he does have stopping power but that’s about all. His head barely moves at all so he’s wide open to take damage. A jab would give him a lot of problems and slowing fairly quickly doesn’t help either. There are not many fighters that I would pick Hafez to beat striking-wise in the UFC.

Hafez is a solid grappler especially early in the fight. I would rate his wrestling a two out of five. It’s good but it’s not on the level of his ground game. Hafez is a big submission threat. He’s willing to take risks, giving up positions and going for submissions. He’s dangerous off his back and is super dangerous once he’s on someone’s back. He’s strong in top position and is hard to shake off. He is good off his back but a good wrestler and strong grappler could very well give Hafez a lot of problems.

Overall I think Hafez is fringe UFC level. I think he will be in the UFC for a few years but will be hanging around the bottom of the division. His striking defense and his cardio aren’t good enough for him to be a big enough threat in the UFC.

How he matches up with Maddalena:

Hafez is getting thrown to the wolves in his UFC debut. With striking defense lacking, fighting a striker like Maddalena is a tough assignment to handle. Hafez is absolutely going to have to get this fight to the mat somehow. That’s certainly going to be tough because Maddalena has only been taken down twice in the UFC and Hafez isn’t a great wrestler. I expect Maddalena to pick at Hafez with the jab and box him up to an eventual finish.