The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to us tonight, July 15, 2023, for UFC Vegas 77, going down live from the UFC Apex in Enterprise, Nevada.
Headlining the event is a bantamweight clash between no. 3 ranked former champion Holly Holm (15-6) and no. 10 ranked Mayra Bueno Silva (10-2-1).
Co-headlining the event was a welterweight showdown between rising star, no. 14 ranked Jack Della Maddalena (15-2) and debutante Bassil Hafez (8-4-1). Della Maddalena was originally slated to face no. 8 ranked Sean Brady last weekend at UFC 290; however, Brady was forced from the bout with an elbow infection and was replaced by debuting Josiah Harrell.
In turn, Harrell was forced to withdraw from his contest with Della Maddalena as a result of a previously unknown brain condition, leaving the Aussie without an opponent. The UFC then decided to move him to this card, where they got him another last minute opponent in Hafez.
Though Hafez came in at 8-3 as a professional, he’d never been finished, whereas Della Maddalena was 4-0 in the UFC with all four wins coming via first round finish, and Hafez’ latest two defeats came via split decision.
Continue reading to see how this 170 lb co-main event of the evening went down:
Official Result: Jack Della Maddalena def. Bassil Hafez via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Hafez secures an early double leg takedown once the bout begins, and while Della Maddalena is able to return to his feet, he’s taken down twice more throughout the opening round. He locks Hafez in a guillotine choke each time he’s taken down, though Hafez wisely moves to half guard and side control quickly.
Della Maddalena has a better round two, as he begins to batter Hafez with nasty body shots followed by hooks and overhands upstairs. He does a good job of stuffing Hafez’ early takedown attempts in the second, though he is taken down in the final two minutes, remaining on his back for the rest of the middle stretch.
Della Maddalena busts Hafez up pretty badly in the third and final round, doing a great job of stuffing all his takedown attempts. He connects on so many hard hooks to the body and head, it’s incredibly Hafez was able to stay in there, especially considering how tired he was with such a wrestling-heavy gameplan.
After a crazy back and forth match…
— UFC (@ufc) July 16, 2023
Bassil Hafez just gave Jack Della Maddalena his toughest test to date; an unknown, who would’ve guessed..
Jack Della Maddalena improves his win streak to 15-striaght (5-0 UFC) tonight at UFC Vegas 77.
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you’d like to see those pieces, be sure to check out learnaboutnature.com!