Jack Della Maddalena Scratched From UFC 290 After Josiah Harrell Discovers Scary Brain Disease

Fan favorite Jack Della Maddalena won't be fighting at UFC 290 after his second opponent was forced to pull out.

Jack Della Maddalena
Jack Della Maddalena (Left) and Josiah Harrell (Right)(Images via Instagram @JackDellaMaddalena and @JosiahHarrellMMA)

Jack Della Maddalena has lost a second opponent for UFC 290. 

On Saturday, July 8, the UFC will present a stacked fight card to end International Fight Week in Las Vegas, Nevada. The preliminary card was expected to feature Della Maddalena vs. Josiah Harrell after the latter stepped in to replace Sean Brady on short notice. Unfortunately, the Aussie won’t be fighting at UFC 290 after another wild turn of events. 

Harrell successfully weighed in at 170.5 pounds on Friday morning. Several hours later, the UFC newcomer’s life was turned upside down when a pre-fight MRI showed he had a rare brain disease called Moyamoya. MMA Junkie’s Nolan King broke the news on Twitter:  

“Per his manager Maurice Blanco: Josiah Harrell’s #UFC290 pre-fight brain MRI may have saved his life. He was diagnosed with moyamoya syndrome, a rare disease that results in blocked arteries at the base of the brain. He will undergo a brain procedure soon.”

Harrell was a 7-0 fighter looking to capitalize on a massive opportunity. He will now have to fight a more serious battle, which hopefully won’t end his career. 

Meanwhile, Della Maddalena must be disappointed that he won’t be fighting after traveling from Australia to Las Vegas. The 26-year-old holds a UFC record of 4-0 since making his promotional debut in January 2022, with all his wins in the first round

Kevin Holland offers to step in against Jack Della Maddalena

Once the weigh-ins are over, it’s nearly impossible for a new opponent to step in. With that said, Kevin Holland tried to save Jack Della Maddalena’s fight camp by offering to replace Josiah Harrell. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto confirmed Holland’s brave offer on Twitter:  

“Not surprisingly, I’m told Kevin Holland offered to fight Jack Della Maddalena on zero days notice after what happened today with Jack’s opponent. Unclear right now what JDM will do, try to book something asap or regroup. Such a bummer.”

Holland last fought on April 8, ending his two-fight losing streak with a third-round knockout against Santiago Ponzinibbio. Although ‘Trailblazer’ won’t be fighting at UFC 290, he proved again that he’s willing to step up when needed and take on a challenge most welterweights wouldn’t consider. 

It’ll be intriguing to see if the UFC decides to match up Holland and Della Maddalena in the future.

Published on July 8, 2023 at 4:45 am
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