At least twice every week, Jack Della Maddalena rides to training on an electric scooter paid for by his fists.
“About a thousand bucks,” laughs the 26-year-old who doubles as Australia’s most exciting UFC prospect.
A fella who early Friday morning, too – and to the surprise of absolutely nobody – became the latest fighter confirmed by UFC executives for Australia’s hyped UFC 284 in Perth on February 12.
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Officially, ‘Della’ is slated to make his first homesoil Octagon appearance against tough American Randy Brown.
A rangy New Yorker who is not only on a run of four straight wins, or capable of highlight reel finishes – as proved by his one-handed submission of Alex Oliveira in 2021 — but who has been fighting in Octagons for longer than Maddalena has even been fighting professionally.
Yet still, know bookmakers are already tipping the 32-year-old Queens tough to become JDM’s next white chalk outline.
Indeed, how else would you describe the Australian’s opponents this past year?
With the breakout welterweight going three fights, three wins – all via first round KO.
Better, his solid hit list of victims — think Danny Roberts, Ramazan Emeev and Pete Rodriguez — not only earned Della UFC Rookie of the Year honours, but also a whopping US$100,000 in fight bonuses.
None of which the West Australian father has spent outlandishly.
Or at least not outside that scooter.
No, instead Australia’s aspiring KO King is focused on something else.
Specifically, UFC legend Chuck Liddell – and his record of seven straight KO finishes.
While in no way comparing himself to the iconic Hall of Famer – or that unforgettable run of kayos he strung together in the early 2000s, and on his way to claiming the UFC light heavyweight title – Maddalena has told Fox Sports Australia how his stellar debut season has, in part, been driven by a desire to chase The Iceman’s company record.
Which again, isn’t Della saying he will get there.
The bloke is too humble for that.
Understands too how in UFC history, only 11 men have claimed even five straight Octagon knockouts – among them superstars like Conor McGregor, Stipe Miocic and Mt Druitt’s own Tai Tuivasa.
But geez, the converted rugby union player is ready to give it all a red hot crack.
While still yet to see even a second round in his UFC career, Maddalena is already being widely hailed for his outstanding striking, accuracy and aggressive nature — which, in total, has so far amounted to roughly nine minutes inside the cage.
Or put another way, just enough time to be crowned the most exciting newcomer on the UFC roster.
Better, the young Aussie appears to only be getting started, too.
With Maddalena revealing his goal — which continues in Perth — is trying to chase down Liddell, who rewrote the UFC record books with those seven straight KOs.
In fact, over a period of two years from 2004, the Californian superstar would use one of the company’s most iconic runs to not only win himself UFC gold, but then defend four times in an incredible period that, overall, saw him starch both Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture twice.
Asked his thoughts on the Iceman’s streak of consecutive finishes, and if it was something that inspired him, Maddalena replied: “Oh, I’m definitely chasing that record.
“Personally, I’m gunning for knockouts in my first 10 fights.
“Because I’m a finisher.
“And I want to finish from the very start of the fight, too.
“That’s what I’m looking for.”
While his latest rival has won all four of his most recent Octagon appearances, and six of his past seven, Maddalena still sees a path to putting Brown’s name on that growing list of finishes.
Indeed, while the American has dropped only two fights in the past six years, both have come via KO – against Niko Price in 2018 and Vincente Luque in 2020.
“He (Brown) is definitely a dangerous guy,” Maddalena stressed.
“Especially with his range.
“He’s such a long guy – has good kicks – so you really have to be careful against that.
“He has some big weapons and presents real challenges.
“He’s also durable, experienced … so I think he’ll fight with that tall style, try to stay on the outside.
“And against him, most people would like to get on the inside, land heavy shots and that’s what I plan to do.
“Get on the inside, hit hard and get that knockout.”
While Maddalena had been hoping to fight a top 15 fighter in Perth, he revealed no less than five rivals had knocked back the request to face him in his own backyard.
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“Or at least that’s what I’ve heard,” he said.
“When the UFC asked who I wanted to fight in February, I named everyone above me. Or everyone apart from the champion.
“So while I don’t know which ones said no, I’ve heard there were five.”
Not that the Aussie holds any hard feelings.
“Obviously to come here from the US, there’s a lot of travel involved,” he added. “So the plan now is to win this fight, head back to America and fight somebody in the top 15.”
Better, Maddalena wants it to be with a resume reading four straight UFC KOs.
“That’s the plan,” he said. “I just can’t wait to get out there in Perth and put on a show.”
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