Jack Della Maddalena opens up on Dana White's Contender Series and comparisons with Nate Diaz

  • Tom Ward
Dana White described Jack Della Maddalena as a 'special talent' after his win over Ange Loosa

UFC president Dana White described Jack Della Maddalena as a ‘special’ talent after his win over Ange Loosa.

The 25-year-old Australian came out on top against 27-year-old Loosa at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas in a violent bloody scrap shown live on UFC Fight Pass.  

But the UFC‘s newest recruit from Perth, Western Australia is not letting the newfound fame get to his head, despite earning rave reviews for his incredible performance on the night. 

In fact, he is arguably just as laidback and relaxed as he was before his fight with Loosa

“I almost forgot to sign my UFC contract,” Della Maddalena says as he shares a laugh with head coach Ben Vickers. “Tim [Simpson, his manager] had to give me a bit of a nudge.

“It was just one of those things, you know? It was in my inbox, I probably would have got around to signing it eventually.”  

Jack Della Maddalena pictured with his head coach Ben Vickers at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas

Jack Della Maddalena pictured with his head coach Ben Vickers at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas

Della Maddalena trains next to Francis Ngannou at the UFC PI

Della Maddalena trains next to Francis Ngannou at the UFC Performance Institute

Della Maddalena (10-2), 25, of Willetton, Western Australia, was a semi-pro rugby player and 1-0 in the unpaid ranks before turning pro as a welterweight in 2016.

Since losing to Darcy Vendy in 2016, the Australian has reeled off ten straight wins including his victory over Loosa over a week ago. 

At 25, he still has plenty of time to grow and develop, which is quite a scary thought in itself.

When asked to give an honest assessment of his performance against Loosa he replied: “To be honest I was pretty confident that I was going to get the finish.

“I was definitely trying to get the finish but obviously it didn’t happen.

“I think there’s some things that I could have done better to get the finish, but I was pretty happy overall, I was pretty happy with the performance.

“Looking back on it though I think it was probably perfect how the fight played out given our situation.

“I got everything I could possibly gain from it, got the three rounds in against a good opponent, tested in multiple ways, so yeah, it was perfect.” 

Della Maddalena poses for a photo at Scrappy MMA & Fitness

Della Maddalena poses for a photo at Scrappy MMA & Fitness 

Vickers was also impressed with his young charge’s performance. 

“I think Jack did awesome,” he said. “I think Ange was way better than I thought he was going to be if I’m honest.

“Having only his previous footage to go on, what turned up on the night wasn’t what we’d been watching tape of, which is actually a blessing because Jack got to prove to the world what we already knew which was the level that he was already at.

“I think Ange wouldn’t be out of place in the UFC at all, like he’s a good fighter, he’s the most durable bloke going around as well. 

“But like I say it was a massive win, and I think Dana even said that in one of his interviews, he spoke about Jack and the quality of his opponent.   

“So yeah, I was really pleased, and it’s nice to get three rounds in the tank. I’ve never really had much time to speak to Jack in-between rounds so it was nice to have a little chat and see what it was all about.”

Della Maddalena celebrates after beating Aldin Bates

Della Maddalena celebrates after beating Aldin Bates

Della Maddalena’s fighting style often leaves his opponents lying battered, bruised and unconscious on the floor in a pool of blood.

So much so that he is already being compared to a young Nate Diaz

“I like Diaz, he’s the man, but I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing,” Della Maddalena replied when asked if he has seen the comparisons on social media. 

Vickers countered this by saying: “But I can see the comparison, like we used to say Jack and Josh are the Australian Diaz brothers, it’s been thrown around before, so I can definitely see the comparison, and it’s good to be in the same conversation as them right?” 

“It is funny, he’s a legend, I respect him a lot, so it’s nice to be compared to someone like that,” Della Maddalena added.  

Della Maddalena, his brother Jack, head coach Ben and striking coach Ryan Gray

Della Maddalena, his brother Josh, head coach Ben and striking coach Ryan Gray 

Both men have built a solid support network around them over the years, and family is an integral part of their daily lives.

Pat Vickers, who lives and works in the United States, flew out to Las Vegas to help his brother corner Della Maddalena for his fight against Loosa.  

“It was cool having Ben and his brother Pat come and corner me,” Della Maddalena admitted.

“I haven’t spent a heap of time with Pat, but straight away it felt like we were just family, really, we kicked it off instantly.

“And then the same thing obviously if Pat wasn’t there, Josh would have obviously been the next guy there, so we all have a really close bond.”

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Vickers meanwhile also echoed those sentiments. 

“It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, like everyone’s a brother and all that b——-, but when it actually is real like blood ties are pretty strong,” he explained 

“I haven’t actually seen my brother for a couple of years with Covid and stuff and with him being based in the States.

“But he was instrumental in what Scrappy MMA is today, it wouldn’t exist without him, so for him to be there for that fight was pretty special.

“Unfortunately due to the expense of it all, Josh couldn’t come, but that would have been the icing on the cake to have all four of us together.

“But we have vowed that Josh will come to the next one, we will move hell and high water to ensure that Josh is present at the next one, because it’s very important for Josh and Jack to do this together.  

“So yeah, it could be even better next time, we could have all four brothers together. Now there’s a story for you.” 

Maddalena laughed: “There’s trouble.”

“There’s trouble, yeah, especially when Josh is involved,” Vickers chuckled. 

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