Jack Della Maddalena Says You Can’t Be Champ If You Can’t Beat Burns

Miami, FL – UFC welterweight Jack Della Maddalena has a massive fight at UFC 299 against Gilbert Burns that could make or break his future title hopes.

“It’s a big one for me. He’s a top 5,” Maddalena told reporters including Cageside Press on Wednesday.

“I feel like if you can’t beat Gilbert Burns you can’t become a world champion so my plan is to beat Gilbert Burns and prove that I belong in the top 5.”

Maddalena (16-2) is riding a 6-fight UFC win streak into UFC 299, but the seasoned veteran Burns will put his streak to the test.

“I think Gilbert’s a good fighter. He’s obviously battle tested, he’s very tough, he’s durable and he’s been in there with some of the best. I definitely expect the challenge,” he said.

Burns is 2-3 in his last fight coming into UFC 299, but Maddalena doesn’t see that as a real factor in their fight. He expects the best Burns there is to meet him in the octagon on Saturday night.

“Hoping and expecting the best Gilbert there is. He’s aggressive, you know, he’s not afraid to strike, go hard, but I expect him to be shooting trying to get ahold of me and getting me on my back,” Maddalena said.

Watch the entire media day scrum with Jack Della Maddalena above. He takes on Gilbert Burns at UFC 299 on Saturday night.