While it wasn’t the fire-fight many expected, Della Maddalena’s ability to score the bigger power punches over all three rounds seemed to make the biggest difference. Holland showed no fear stepping into the pocket and trading punches, but his volume striking came up just short in the end.
Two judges returned 29-28 scores for Della Maddalena, with the third judge going 29-28 for Holland. That was enough for Della Maddalena to get the nod and remain undefeated in the UFC.
“Pretty much exactly what I expected,” Della Maddalena said afterward. “It’s hard to tell in here. Whatever, I’m not a judge so f*** it. The plan was to come in, be defensive, use the eyes and just pick my shots.”
It was precision versus power, with Holland operating like a sniper from the outside, and Della Maddalena seeking to close the distance then launch huge barrages of punches in succession. Holland didn’t seem phased even when he got tagged, although Della Maddalena was connecting with the better power shots in the early going.
Holland continued to pepper away with a long jab followed with another punch behind it. Meanwhile, Della Maddelana kept looking for the opening to rush ahead and launch big left and right hooks to the head.
By the midway point in the second round, Holland started increasing his output and volume while frustrating Della Maddalena with effective head movement to make the Australian miss. Just when it looked as if Della Maddalena couldn’t land effectively, he’d find openings to tag Holland, which made the exchanges extremely close every time.
Defense was strong on both sides, with Della Maddalena exploding forward in bursts, including a well-placed barrage that Holland answered with a quick punch and an inside elbow that backed him off. Holland was also using a front kick to the body that worked almost like a jab from the outside.
Still, it was Della Maddalena who made the most of his offense, routinely stalking forward and then opening up with three and four power punches in a row. Holland’s volume didn’t land with as much impact, and that appeared to be the difference with the judges.
A hard hitter in the cage but soft spoken outside of it, Della Maddalena didn’t mention any names for potential foes, but with the win he’ll rise up the ranks in the welterweight division.