Jack Della Maddalena vs. Josiah Harrell Prediction | UFC 290 1

Australia’s surging prospect Jack Della Maddalena returns this weekend at UFC 290. He was first scheduled in a highly anticipated bout with Sean Brady, who would’ve welcomed him into the top 10 of the division. However, injury sidelined the American, and now Maddalena takes on undefeated Josiah Harrell in his UFC debut.

Fresh off of a victory over Mike Roberts at LFA 160, Harrell will step in to face Della Maddalena on less than a week’s notice. “Muscle Hamster” is 7-0 with a 100% finish rate and made headlines when he drove Roberts through the cage door with a power double leg.

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Betting Odds

Jack Della Maddalena is a huge favorite at -1111, the biggest on the entire card.

  • Jack Della Maddalena: -1111 (MyBookie)
  • Josiah Harrell: +603 (MyBookie)

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Fight Breakdown

Jack Della Maddalena is a southpaw boxer and a very good one at that. He very well could have the best boxing in the UFC today, and he is only four fights into his UFC tenure. He is one of the most accurate and ferocious body punchers in the game and does a good job of climbing the ladder when he streaks. This means he will set up his entry with his jab or step-in cross but work the body to set up headshots at the end of the combinations.

Harrell, like Della Maddalena, stands right foot front, so we may see Della Maddalena lean more onto his jab than his cross in starting combinations. Going to the body will also help, as Harrell will most definitely be looking to level change onto the oncoming Della Maddalena every time he gets some momentum going forward. Expect a lowered stance from the boxer and for him to create and enter on angles to avoid squaring up with Harrell.

Harrell is a very game fighter; he can come back from bad positions or being hurt and find a way to win, as he has done on a few different occasions. In terms of his striking, he is powerful but does have a habit of throwing naked shots at times, meaning without a set up. In particular, his low kicks, if not set up with his hands, leaves him open to potentially being taken down or more likely against Della Maddalena, a counter cross or right hook. A very good strike in Harrell’s arsenal however, is a nice slip right, fake the level change to an overhand left, that he then angles out safely on.

Harrell is good at finding his takedowns off in many situations. He is good at reactionary shooting when he is hurt or thrown around in a scramble, he is also good at mixing in the takedown after he has already used the level change as a feint. Harrell has a good top game, not too aggressive with the ground and pound but positionally very dominant until he can pass the guard. He tends to force his opponents to give up the back or bait them to tripod as he smashes from top half, where he rides the back and commits more to his ground and pound.

However, getting Della Maddalena to the mat and keeping him there is a tall task. Della Maddalena is rarely out of position on the feet, meaning he gives up no takedowns for free. Once he does feel he is being taken down, he is very good at chaining his takedown defense, staying tall and postured, and wrestling his way back up.


There is very good reason Jack Della Maddalena is such a heavy favorite. Not only does he carry a major experience advantage at the highest level, but even if this fight is considered a striker vs. wrestler matchup, Harrell tends to make much more mistakes even on the mat than Della Maddalena does on the feet.

I expect Jack Della Maddalena to deny most takedowns and pick Harrell apart on the feet. At -1111, there isn’t much incentive to bet on Della Maddalena, and because of the nature of their last-minute matchup, few props are available for this fight. Instead, chain Della Maddalena onto any long or sure parlays you may have to get a little extra boost.

Pick: Jack Della Maddalena as a parlay booster

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