Willetton-trained UFC welterweight Jack Della Maddalena promised a masterclass ahead of his UFC 284 fight at RAC Arena, and on Sunday morning he delivered on that promise.
The 26-year-old fighting out Scrappy MMA under coach Ben Vickers was taking on American-Jamaican fighter Randy Brown in what was billed as his first real test in front of a sold-out home-town stadium, having finished his first three UFC opponents within the first round.
Not only did Della Maddalena pass that test, he put on a performance that has commentators billing the man they have taken to calling JDM as a star and a future title contender.
Maddalena walked to the Octagon to a massive, deafening cheer from his hometown crowd, with ACDC’s TNT pumping, ready to take on one of the tallest welterweights on the UFC roster.
As the fight began, Brown used his five-inch reach advantage to keep Della Maddalena at bay, with the Perth fighter content to use his rock-solid defence while he attempted to find a way past Brown’s jab.
The fighter dubbed Rude Boy began to get comfortable on the outside and that would ultimately be his undoing, as Della Maddalena backed him up against the cage and landed a right hook that dropped Brown.
Della Maddalena followed Brown to the ground and began to unleash hammerfists, forcing Brown to expose his back, with Della Maddalena immediately slapping on a read-naked choke.
Brown could do nothing but tap, with referee Marc Goddard calling a stop to the contest at two minutes and 13 second in the first round – Della Maddalena’s fastest finish in his first four UFC bouts.
Netting a cool $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus and jumping to 14 on the official UFC welterweight rankings, Della Maddalena told commentator Michael Bisping he knew he would experience this moment in his home town.
“I did, I knew it,” he said.
“I practise grappling and as soon as he gave me his neck it was done, I’m not letting go of that.
“I clipped him, faceplant, hammerfists, submission, that’s how it is.
“I didn’t [think he would drop with one shot], I thought it might take three rounds and I was planning on landing big shots for 15 minutes in front of my family.
“I was pumped but this is my Octagon and when I get in here I’m as cool as a cucumber.”
Della Maddalena will now enjoy a much-needed holiday after four fights in a little over 12 months, but when he returns he has already set his sights on eighth-ranked Vicente Luque.
While on a two-fight skid, Luque is an eight-year veteran of the UFC with wins over Brown, Tyron Woodley and Michael Chiesa.
In the UFC 284 main event, Islam Makhachev retained his lightweight title in a controversial decision win over Australian featherweight title holder Alexander Volkanovski, with a growing chorus of critics and fans calling for an immediate rematch between the two.