Former Dana White’s Contender Series graduate and 1-0 UFC fighter, Jack Della Maddalena (11-2), is set to fight 7-fight UFC veteran, Ramazan Emeev (20-5; 5-2 in the UFC).
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After losing his first two professional fights, Della Maddalena is on an 11-fight win streak and has looked impressive in those bouts. Meanwhile, Emeev has faced some unexpected adversity of recent note against opponents who are perceived to be below his level. A win in this fight, for either fighter, will casually propel them into a position that leaves them fighting for ranked contention in the not-so-distant future which makes this bout a high-stakes affair.
Della Maddelena vs. Emeev is scheduled for this weekend’s UFC 275 fight card in Singapore. UFC 275 is a PPV event featuring two title fights and a highly-anticipated strawweight rematch between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
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Jack Della Maddalena opened at a pick’em against Emeev, but now, has climbed to a -155 favorite for this bout at popular bookmaker BetUS.
A successful $100 bet on Della Maddalena would return a total of $164 at UFC 275. Betting on the underdog, Emeev, would see a payout of $225 for a $100 bet.
Often, I am a skeptic of DWCS fighters in their initial UFC debut given the hype surrounding them often supersedes reality. But, for Della Maddalena, I fully bought into the hype surrounding his impressive DWCS performance, and in his UFC debut, he not only lived up to the hype, but somehow, rose the bar of expectation moving forward.
The largest data-point surrounding the build-up over Jack as a fighter is his ability to use technical boxing to earn himself KO/TKO victories – 9 of his 11 wins have come via this method. His ability to seamlessly blend stance switches with activity and lengthy combinations allows him to put on a pace and pressure that correlates to landing with frequency and damage. Moreover, Jack does a good job using kicks and elbows to mix up his striking, thus making him a well-rounded and dangerous striker.
While Jack’s best attribute is technical striking, with an underlying base of justified confidence, he has shown to have a strong takedown defense. Expanding on this, Jack is well-above average in scrambling situations which I believe to be an aspect of MMA that is underappreciated and will become a point of emphasis in the near future. Having the ability to stop a takedown from a defense lens to transition into an offensive-minded grappling position is where Jack’s fight-game elevates him beyond other technical strikers. And, most importantly, the ability to do so effectively will be needed when facing a heavy-wrestling attack that he will see in this fight. The only question that arises with Jack as a fighter thus far in his fight career is the ability to trust his gas tank, as he either elects to start slow so he can confidently fight the entire 15-minute affair or looks to get the finish early and if unable to do so, cardio issues may surface.
As alluded to, Emeev will likely look to wrestle his way to a victory in this fight, which is far from a hot-take given he has shot 28 takedown attempts over his last 3 fights. Of the sizable amount of takedown attempts, he landed a successful 10 shots, which, after accounting for the sub-par opponents in those fights, is far from stellar. Lastly, when accessing the likely path to victory Emeev will employ, if he does land a successful takedown, he does not do a great job of keeping his opponent on the ground.
While my assessment of Emeev’s grappling is likely far more critical than his reputation, I will give credence to the potential he has with regard to chaining striking into wrestling and vice versa. This is largely due to him becoming a more confident and effective striker as he becomes more experienced. The form in which he strikes is quite elementary and will likely not create any electing finishes, but, the ability to find success while standing in addition to clinch-wrestling throughout the entire duration of the fight results in Emeev being a neutralizer in the octagon that often allows him to secure the win via decision.
Quite simply, the line on this fight should be priced far steeper in the direction of Jack Della Maddalena. His pressure-oriented striking, undercoated with fight-ending ability, coupled with showcased success in scrambling situations, should allow him to have significant success against Emeev. With that said, Emeev’s well-rounded game and stubborn-like takedown decisions do create some caution with believing Jack will run right through him on his way to fighting for a ranking. While understanding this preface is apparent, I still am confidently backing Jack in this spot. His game is simply levels above Emeev with respect to what he has shown contrary to what public perception believes there to be, henceforth, Jack’s price is a gift!
Bet: Jack Della Maddalena to win (-155 at BetUS)