It’s been quite a while since Australia had its own UFC card, but this weekend in Singapore we’re going to get as close to a house as possible away from home.
Perth’s Jack Della Madalena has titled a card that boasts of four Australian fighters, and could have been five if it hadn’t been for Robert Whitaker’s scheduled bout injury.
But Whitaker’s loss is Della Madeleine’s gain, as the 25-year-old has been promoted to a place on the original pay-per-view card.
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In January, Della Madalena burst into the scene in impressive fashion, beating Pete Rodriguez by a knockout in less than three minutes.
It was the 12th win of his professional career (two defeats), and his first win at the UFC.
“It’s not a long trip, which is a good thing – it’s literally five hours from Perth and the same time zone. So to be honest, the build up has been a lot easier and we’ve come a long way here to fight.”
Della Madalena said the closeness of the fight means more friends and family are coming – and they will not only be Australians present, they will have a trio of other Australians on the card.
Jack Mathews, Jacob Malcolm and Joshua Culibao will all fight on the cards, in a tough team below the Warriors.
“Tomorrow we’re going out to do some media stuff as Australian contingents, and there are plenty of Australians in Singapore which is great – so I hope we have a lot of fans there.”
The other three will fight on the starting card, Della Madalena has pushed the status of per-view in her second UFC fight.
“It’s great – but to be honest it doesn’t change my mind very much. I’ve come here to do one thing and that is to win the fight, but I’m proud of it.”
Across the octagon will be the Russian veteran Ramazan Amiev, who will certainly provide some style clash with the Australians.
Amiev has had seven fights in the UFC and they all went to the judge’s decision, win or lose. In contrast, only one of Australia’s 11 professional wins did not end prematurely.
“I think he’s good enough that he can continue to fight until he makes a decision,” he said.
“They’re very close fighters … I don’t think he’s necessarily a very dangerous fighter. He’s never finished. [in the UFC] And I will definitely try to do it. “
And when the 25-year-old Welterweight set out to make waves in the department, he says life as a whole hasn’t really changed much – except for one interaction with his favorite Fremantle Dockers.
“The Dockers sports nutritionist arrived a few months ago before my last fight and I was able to talk to the boys about nutrition and training.”
The advice he gave helped the Dockers sit pretty well inside the AFL top four at the moment.
“I gave them the butt they needed,” he laughed.
“But it was something I never expected – they’re having a good year, which is one minute – but I’m determined and it will come one day.
“It’s going to be pretty epic when they get that premiere, and that’s probably the year.”
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