UFC 270: Jack Della Maddalena plans to put on a show against Pete Rodriguez

  • Tom Ward
Jack Della Maddalena plans to put on a show against Pete Rodriguez

Jack Della Maddalena is just looking forward to putting on a show for the fans. 

The Australian MMA fighter is set to make his highly-anticipated UFC debut against Pete Rodriguez on Saturday night.

Della Maddalena, 25, was awarded a contract following his win over Ange Loosa on Dana White‘s Contender Series.

The 25-year-old currently trains under the watchful eye of Ben Vickers at the Scrappy MMA & Fitness Gym in Willetton.

JDM was all set to take on Brazilian vet Warlley Alves at the Honda Center on January 22. 

However, Alves was forced to pull out of the fight just days before they were due to fly out to Las Vegas, which left him without an opponent.

But they boarded the flight anyway and didn’t look back. 

Jack Della Maddalena pictured with his head coach Ben Vickers

Della Maddalena told GIVEMESPORT.com: “We found out pretty much two days before we actually left. 

“They did promise that we would get a fight so we sort of just trusted them and boarded the flight. 

“We had no idea who we were going to fight for at least four or five days when we were in Vegas.” 

Vickers added: “A few different names were being chucked around and then Pete Rodriguez’s name came up.  

Jack Della Maddalena is the former Eternal welterweight champion

“We just wanted someone to fight so that’s all that mattered really.

“There was never going to be a ‘no’ to any opponent or anything.”

The Brazilian’s short-notice replacement, who goes by the name of ‘Dead Game’, has won every single one of his fights by knockout. 

And Della Maddalena is expecting fireworks when they fight a few hours before Francis Ngannou‘s clash with Ciryl Gane. 

Jack Della Maddalena beat Ange Loosa by unanimous decision

He added: “Yeah, there’s not a whole lot of footage, we watched one or two of his fights. 

“Seems like he’s quite small, compact, punches reasonably hard, so it should be a good fight really.

“It’s a good spot to be on like the first fight on the prelims, it’s cool. Having more eyes the better I guess and I think it will be an exciting fight so there’s nothing to lose in that regard.”

Now officially signed to the UFC, Della Maddelana has been enjoying some of the perks and benefits that come with the job, including a chance encounter with Sean Strickland.

Jack Della Maddalena training with Francis Ngannou in the background

Della Maddalena revealed: “We bumped into Sean at the PI.

“He seems like a cool dude, seems like a wild man, but he’s a nice guy.

“Obviously we’re both managed by Paradigm as well which helps.” 

Vickers admitted: “He’s a nice guy.

Jack Della Maddalena and Ben Vickers outside the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas

“Sean just says what he feels and shoots from the hip and I think that’s alright.

“But yeah, he was taking the p— out of Jack, and he hadn’t even introduced himself yet.”  

Della Maddalena chuckled: “He enjoyed my nose, he was really impressed with it.”

But it’s not just Della Maddalena who has been given the first-class treatment; Vickers has no complaints either. 

Jack Della Maddalena hits the pads with Ben Vickers

Vickers continued: “It’s like a 15 minute drive from the arena, but it’s got a massive pool, we’ve got our own little gym room as well.

“So we cannot complain for a second about how we’ve been looked after by the UFC.

“From preparing Jack’s meals, massages, even when Jack f—— cracked me in the ribs, they gave me a little lookover the next day.”

When pressed on how the incident occured, he replied: “We were hitting pads and Jack just got a bit carried away.”

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Francis Ngannou

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Della Maddalena interjected: “I punched him right in the ribs accidentally.”

Vickers insisted: “It wasn’t an accident!”

Della Maddalena protested: “It was an accident.”

Vickers concluded: “It’s funny because we were having an amazing pad session, we had just got off the plane, so we were just going through the motions.

“He dropped me twice that day, didn’t you? Once with a body kick and once with a body shot.

“Fortunately it was just like a little bruise or something so it was real bad for a couple of days then the pain eased off after a while.” 

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