This past Saturday in the co-main event of Noche UFC, we saw a big time welterweight matchup between ranked contenders. Jack Della Maddalena (16-2) was taking on “The Trailblazer” Kevin Holland (25-10). This was a big fight for both men as they were looking to take a step towards the top ten.
I was expecting a very technical striking matchup between these two. In terms of pure boxing skills, I liked Della Maddalena. However, Holland had a huge reach advantage and I thought that this would play well in the matchup. Both of those thoughts played out on Saturday night.
We did see Holland take advantage of his reach with stinging jabs and sharp 1-2’s. However, we also saw the better pure boxing combinations throughout the night from Della Maddalena. Della Maddalena was sharp going to the body and then up top with his combinations.
At the end of three rounds, the fight was very close. I personally scored it for Della Maddalena, but could easily see someone scoring the fight for Holland. The judging was split, but in the end, two of the three judges at Noche UFC gave the fight to Della Maddalena.
What’s next after UFC Noche?
The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak for Kevin Holland. He had finished Santiago Ponzinibbio as well as Michael Chiesa this year prior to this loss against Della Maddalena. I don’t believe he takes much of a step back and he’s already identified an opponent that’s well suited for him.
Holland has called for a matchup with Neil Magny and I think that fight makes all the sense in the world. Like Holland, Magny is coming off a loss. Holland is currently ranked 14th while Holland is ranked 13th. Sometimes the fighters make it easy on the UFC match makers and this is one of those times.