“If I could have the perfect match, it was just to put on a masterclass,” he said. “Not getting hit, (them) hitting a lot and coming out unscathed, whether it’s a finish or a decision – it doesn’t really matter.”
Della Maddalena is optimistic about the stylistic clash when he and Rodriguez step into the Octagon and he expects his opponent to come out fast with heavy, flowing hands. That said, Della Maddalena is confident in her fight IQ, and if her Contender Series fighter has anything to learn, he’ll happily accept a bit of mayhem in the Octagon.
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Another bright spot from the slightly tumultuous build-up to his debut is the fact that he can make his promotional debut in a full arena at the first pay-per-view event of the year instead of the originally planned affair in the UFC. APEX.
He also understands the moment before him. If he can deliver the “masterclass” he hopes for on fight night, it sets him up for a faster track in the shark tank that is the welterweight division. He drinks it all in, though. You only make your UFC debut once, and he soaks up everything as much as he can.
Once it’s time to take that walk to the Octagon, he said he’ll have “tunnel vision,” but he’s in no rush.
“I’m enjoying the whole fight week experience,” he said. “It’s good to take everything for what it is, to take it every day at a time, to try not to wish to spend time, not to wait too long for the fight or the weigh-ins. Take each day (as it comes), then get to work when it’s playtime.”
Don’t miss a single strike from the first pay-per-view of 2022 on UFC 270: Ngannou vs. Ganelive from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on ESPN+. Preliminaries begin at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT. The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT