The co-main event of UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Bueno Silva was one for the record books, pitting a short-notice matchup between UFC undefeated Australian striker Jack Della Maddalena against UFC debutant Bassil Hafez. The two went to war and earned Fight Of The Night honors, but the decision has been widely contested online, with the fight going in favor of the Aussie via split decision.
Let's examine each round of the fight and break it down. Then we'll compare the judges' scorecards to the Verdict Scorecard and ultimately determine who should've won this fight.
The fight began frantically; Hafez immediately shot for a blast double leg takedown and got it to the ground. Della Maddalena attempted a guillotine, but it was easily escaped. Hafez clung onto Della Maddalena for a minute until they returned to their feet. The pair had a heated exchange, landing flush shots on each other until Hafez shot again, threatened by another guillotine that was easily defended. JDM scrambled out at the two-minute mark and went in for another frenzied exchange, which Hafez accepted. Hafez shot for another takedown, but it was stuffed. After another brawl, Hafez scored another takedown after a third unsuccessful guillotine attempt from Della Maddalena. The round finished with Hafez attempting an arm triangle but did not have another time to lock it in.
Judges Scorecard: 10-9 Hafez x3
Verdict Scorecard: 9.21-9.8 Hafez
Della Maddalena got straight on the gas in round 2, forcing Hafez to shoot another stuffed takedown. After another stuffed takedown, Della Maddalena unloaded Hafez, who landed a spinning back fist in the pocket. Both men furiously traded, with Della Maddalena getting the better of most of the exchanges, keeping his distance with the jab. Hafez shot for a third takedown that was stuffed again when Jack landed more shots against the fence. The Aussie unloaded a lethal combination on Hafez, slamming hooks into his body and then coming upstairs with a straight. After the two landed some more, Hafez shot for another takedown, and Della Maddalena mistakingly went for his fourth guillotine, which Hafez escaped. The last minute and the half of the round was spent with Hafez on top, not landing any significant strikes or attempting any real submission threats.
Judges Scorecard: Sal D'amato 10-9 Hafez, Junichiro Kamijo and Chris Lee 10-9 Della Maddalena
Verdict Scorecard: 9.61-9.41 Della Maddalena
Round three started identically to the second. Della Maddalena pushed forward, forcing Hafez to shoot, which was now easily defended. Hafez was noticeably labored and failed again on another takedown attempt. Della Maddalena continued defending takedown attempts and landed more strikes on the feet, rocking Hafez with a big hook and digging into the body. Hafez swung back against the feet but was outmatched and rocked again. Della Maddalena unloaded more, cracking Hafez repeatedly with body shots and the right hand. Hafez shot for a takedown, which was defended again. Della Maddalena jumped onto the back and landed strikes, but Hafez reversed and ended up on top. They returned to their feet, and Della Maddalena fought off another takedown attempt, reversing the position and finishing the fight on top.
Judges Scorecard: 10-9 Della Maddalena
Verdict Scorecard: 10-8.76 Della Maddalena
This fight boiled down to the second round, with one judge favoring the control time of Hafez, as opposed to the other two judges favoring Della Maddalena's striking advantage on the feet. Ultimately, the Verdict Scorecard had Della Maddalena pulling ahead in the second round, winning him the fight.
But what do you think, was it the correct decision? As a member of the Verdict Community, let us know your scorecard in the comments below.