Bassil Hafez believes he beat Jack Della Maddalena at UFC Vegas 77 but “pleased” he proves he belongs in the UFC
Bassil Hafez knew he was getting close to the UFC and was expecting something short notice to come up.
Hafez was the reigning Fury FC welterweight champion and was coming off a knockout win over Evan Cutts to win the belt back in February. Since then, he had been training and when he got the call to step up on short notice at UFC Vegas 77 against Jack Della Maddalena, he jumped on it.
“It was a dream come true. I’ve been waiting for that phone call since I started fighting, so to fight in the UFC was a dream come true. Then, to fight a ranked guy in Jack Della Maddalena who I thought was a great fighter made it that much better,” Hafez said to BJPENN.com.
Once the fight was finalized, Bassil Hafez saw all the comments that he wouldn’t stand a chance against Jack Della Maddalena and would be finished in the first round.
Although Hafez knew that wouldn’t be the case, he says those comments helped motivate and prove to all the doubters that he does belong in the UFC.
“I’ve experienced a lot of adversity in my career and been in three title fights already. I’ve had doubters, especially in my last title fight. I was using this as a chance to prove doubters wrong again,” Hafez said. “I saw comments saying I was a warm body for Jack to fight and he was going to wipe the floor with me. It helped motivate me. I’m fine with that as I used that as fuel to have a good performance and prove I belong.”
‘I do think I won the fight’
Entering the scrap, Bassil Hafez was confident that he would be able to get Jack Della Maddalena down to the ground and have success on the mat. He did just that in the first half of the scrap. But, as the fight wore on, he got started to fade and Della Maddalena took over.
Yet, when the final bell rang, Hafez was still confident he did enough to get his hand raised. However, it was Della Maddalena winning a split decision.
“He did defend some takedowns later in the fight that were sloppy. If he didn’t it would have been sad for him. But, I expected myself to be able to take him down,” Hafez said. “I had to use my strength to get him down. But, I did expect him to be able to take him down when I wanted to. I’m pleased that I didn’t get finished and that I almost won. However, that’s the only thing I am happy with. I do believe I should have beaten him if I did some other things. But, I do think I won the fight anyway. I’m happy with my performance and that I got the Fight of the Night. But, I do think I could have done more in there. I still think I beat him and should have gotten the win.”
Ultimately, the hope for Bassil Hafez is to fight again soon against whoever the UFC gives him. He says he isn’t afraid to get another ranked opponent. But, Hafez knows he likely has to work his way up there.
“To me, I believe I am a top-15 fighter. I’m just excited to prove myself over the next three fights on my contract. I don’t care who I fight but I’ll try and get a bonus every fight. I want to be a fighter that gets a bonus in every fight whether it’s because of a stoppage or Fight of the Night,” Hafez concluded.
This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM
Topics:Jack Della Maddalena UFC