Australia’s Jack Della Maddalena missed out on last week’s UFC 293 in Sydney, but found himself in a big fight nonetheless in the month of September, anchoring the co-main event of Noche UFC against Kevin Holland.
While the card was in celebration of Mexican Independence Day, the loss of Kelvin Gastelum vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (not to mention several other bouts) left Holland vs. Maddalena sporting a higher profile.
Maddalena pressed forward early in the opening round, chopping at the legs and letting his hands go. Holland for his part looked light on his feet and employed his jab. Maddalena managed to move from a body lock to some nasty shots to the side of the head about two minutes in, and kept the pressure on Holland, who at times turned away to retreat. Holland was not out of it by any stretch, looking to get his kicks going, but it was JDM landing a head kick, after which both men traded elbows. The stand-up battle continued throughout the round, with Maddalena showing no inclination to take Holland down, despite Kevin Holland showing JDM his back several times.
In the second, Maddalena targeted the body with kicks. The right hand was there for Maddalena, and he doubled up on it about 90 seconds in. The strike count was impressively high in the first round, and that continued in the second. Holland’s defense looked solid, and many of Maddalena’s attacks hit air or glanced off a shoulder. But the Australian connected with a combo late in the round, and moments later, Holland opted to employ a takedown attempt that was stuffed. Another high-output round with both men landing, though JDM appeared to have connected more. Holland finished the frame catching a kick, but he couldn’t dump Holland.
The back-and-forth continued in the third, with Holland mixing in a spinning elbow when Maddalena got in close. Maddalena to his credit never seemed to lose his composure, no matter what Holland threw at him or how well he used his length. Near the midway mark of the round, Holland, who had spent much of the fight countering, reversed and went on the attack, landing a standing elbow. Towards the end of the round, Maddalena turned up the heat, tagging Holland along the fence several times. Holland waved him on, but game as he might be, it was JDM’s moment.
Official Result: Jack Della Maddalena def. Kevin Holland by unanimous decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)