UFC 284 marked a huge night for Australia’s own, Jack Della Maddalena. The Perth native recorded his fourth straight first-round finish when he submitted Randy Brown after rocking his opponent with a right hook. He’s yet to see a second round in the UFC, recording three TKO/KO’s and a submission. After the biggest win of his career, naturally, we have to ask what is next for Maddalena. During his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping, Maddalena stated he wanted a top 15 guy next.
We take a look at who we could see Maddalena face next.
Matchmaking Jack Della Maddalena
From a boxing standpoint, Della Maddalena is one of the slickest with his hands. What’s important is that he quickly masters his range in every fight that he’s had in the UFC, works the body with brutal efficiency and has power. He’s a scrapper who isn’t scared to take a few to land his own shots. Who else has that style at 170lbs? Enter, Vicente Luque.
Luque is a fun fighter with an exciting style, a scrapper and without a doubt has a fan-friendly, finishing style. Having finished four straight fights via finish, he’s suffering through back-to-back losses. With a win over Luque, Maddalena would, without a doubt cement himself as a contender at welterweight.
Jack Della Maddalena says a fight vs. Vicente Luque "would be a banger."
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) February 13, 2023
Michel Pereira was set to clash with Sean Brady, however, it was released over the weekend that Brady had torn his groin and therefore has had to withdraw from the bout.
Although this was booked for March 25th, that’s too quick of a turnaround for Maddalena after UFC 284. He said in his post-fight interview that he wants to have a little time off before returning to action. If Michel Pereira is willing to wait for Maddalena and compete around May, the fight makes sense.
Pereira is an exciting, crazy striker and is ranked #14 in the welterweight division. A win for either man would elevate them and would allow them to potentially crack the top 10 of the division. Pereira isn’t apprehensive to face good strikers having clashed with Andre Fialho and Santiago Ponzinibbio in his last two bouts. He hasn’t lost since 2020 following an illegal knee against Diego Sanchez and, like Maddalena is full of confidence ahead of a potential match-up.
Rafael dos Anjos
At this point, we’re not sure what weight Rafael dos Anjos is going to compete at next. In recent times, he’s constantly switched between 155lbs and 170lbs but seems to have settled at welterweight after his last win, which came against Bryan Barberena back in December.
Although RDA isn’t ranked at welterweight, he’s #9 at lightweight and a win over him does massive things for Della Maddalena’s career. He’s a former champion and a former title challenger at welterweight. Although he’s in the twilight of his career, he’s still dangerous, well-rounded and a veteran of the UFC. The Brazillian would, without a doubt take on the Australian and look to take his hype away from him.
It’s a tough fight for the Aussie, however, it makes a lot of sense. It’s a step up in competition from Randy Brown and would guarantee him a huge fight next.