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Broken arm won’t stop Jack Della Maddalena’s UFC title hopes

Australian UFC fighter Jack Della Maddalena (above Gilbert Burns) isn't disheartened despite suffering a broken arm.

Australian UFC fighter Jack Della Maddalena (above Gilbert Burns) isn't disheartened despite suffering a broken arm. Photo: Getty

Australian UFC star Jack Della Maddalena is adamant he’ll recover in time from his broken arm to fight in a mid-year title elimination bout in Perth.

Della Maddalena broke his left forearm during the early stages of his third-round knockout victory over Gilbert Burns on March 10.

The 27-year-old will undergo surgery in Perth on Tuesday, with doctors predicting a full recovery time of about 12 weeks.

Della Maddalena is unbeaten across seven bouts since making his UFC debut in 2022, and his victory over Burns rocketed him to fifth in the welterweight rankings.

The West Australian is hoping to earn a crack at world No.3 Shavkat Rakhmonov in Perth in July/August, before earning a shot at the welterweight crown later in the year.

Leon Edwards is the current welterweight champion.

Della Maddalena has no doubt he will be ready to fight Rakhmonov in WA, with the bout tipped to be in August, but possibly as early as July.

“After the operation, the doctor said I will be able to do some cardio stuff pretty quickly,” Della Maddalena told AAP.

“It’s a pretty clean break. In 12 weeks time I’ll be back to full contact.

“I’ll just need six weeks to prepare (after that) so I need 18 weeks to get back in there.”

Della Maddalena said he didn’t initially realise he had broken his arm.

“It felt alright during the fight. It was after the second round I was finding it hard to clench my fist,” he said.

“It was only straight after the fight I was pretty certain I’d done some good damage to it.

“When the adrenaline is pumping and you’ve got something to focus on, I feel like you can put pain to the back of your mind.

“I’ve never really been in a fight and felt any pain. I was lucky that I didn’t notice it before the fight had ended.”

Della Maddalena finished Burns with a knee to the face followed by a flurry of elbows and punches.

He earned widespread praise for checking on the welfare of his battered opponent after the bout.

Della Maddalena hopes to be the welterweight champion by the end of the year.

“It’s nice to know that my future really lies in my hands at this point in my life,” he said.

“I’ve laid it out pretty nicely. If we can get that Shavkat fight together, it’s a title eliminator.

“And then if I can get through him, I feel like I’ll have a world title bout on my hands.”

For now, Della Maddalena is looking forward to spending time with his wife and his 18-month-old son in Perth.

“It’s been a bit hard over the last week being one handed,” he said.

“But it’s been nice going back, enjoying the beach, spending time with the family.

“My son loves watching me (when I’m training). I take him to the gym. He loves getting there – it’s a big playground for him.”

-AAP

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