Britain’s Danny “Hot Chocolate” Roberts 13th UFC appearance this saturday when he takes on Jack Della Maddalena of Australia. Roberts, who owns a pro boxing record of 4-1 on top of his MMA accolades, defeated Zelim Imadaev in October of 2021 before being sidelined by injury, a canceled event and COVID-19 for two years. Upon his return he then beat Ramazan Emeev and fell short in a decision to Francisco Trinaldo.
Order UFC 281
Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira is tonight! Watch every UFC 281 fight here.
- Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira
- Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili
- Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
Jack Della Maddalena earned his UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series 2021 by beating Ange Loosa. He is 2-0 in the UFC, and his win over Loosa is still his only decision win as 11 of his 12 victories have come by stoppage, and all have come after his pair of losses in his first two fights putting him on a 12 fight win streak.
Jack Della Maddalena will ride his 12-fight win streak into the fight as the -588 favorite.
Danny Roberts is a very strong technical fighter with a background and primary skill set of boxing, although he has developed a sharp low kick game that compliments his overall striking. He does fight from a southpaw stance and likes to work at a longer range making use of his 74 inch reach, although Della Maddalena will be just about equal giving up just an inch. He will adjust his stance according to what threats he reads from his opponent, coming out crouched and ready for wrestlers looking to take him down but loosening up and growing taller as he settles into more kickboxing matches, but he is always more in use of a bladed stance at all times. Both to utilize his range and discourage takedowns he will often throw shots down the middle including a nice front kick, quick jabs and a solid cross. In terms of grappling, while he does show a high technical understanding and ability to maintain good defense technical responses, it is not second nature in the same way boxing is. In his most recent losses, he has sustained some serious damage including the flying knee loss to Michel Pereira and although going the distance rocked on multiple occasions by Francisco Trinaldo. When and if he is hurt on the feet he becomes more susceptible to takedowns where he can sometimes get stuck in bottom position unable to escape.
Jack Della Maddalena is very similar in the fact that he is primarily a boxer. However, while Roberts wants to stay at range, Della Maddalena is a bit more tight and taller in his approach and wants to get inside to make use of his devastating body shots. He is potentially less explosive in his in and out movement, instead walking in, but using good head movement behind his punches to allow his straight forward entries. He does have good angles especially when he looks to counter, and he will often switch to southpaw to land his power left which results in his high knockout rate. While this could very well be a boxing match, Della Maddalena is the more agile grappler, quick to roll and scramble off takedowns and time his explosions to escape bad positions. He has a strong background in Judo on top of his boxing, so he may have an edge on the mat.
Ultimately I do think both men want to contest their boxing skills, and in general Roberts on the outside and Della Maddalena with more pressure. However with more elements on his side I do see Della Madalena winning with more power in his hands, slicker footwork and movement in the pocket and his body shots, which were a huge turning point when Roberts was last defeated by Trinaldo. Roberts offers those same weapons at a greater technical level in my opinion.
Prediction: Jack Della Maddalena to win (bet now at MyBookie)
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.