UFC 299: Gilbert Burns vs. Jack Della Maddalena Prediction, Pick and Odds

A new welterweight contender will emerge at UFC 299

Jun 12, 2022; Singapore, SIN; Jack Della Maddalena (red gloves) reacts after fight against Ramazan
Jun 12, 2022; Singapore, SIN; Jack Della Maddalena (red gloves) reacts after fight against Ramazan / Paul Miller-USA TODAY Sports

Buried amongst the several highly-anticipated bouts on the UFC 299 fight card, former UFC title challenger Gilbert Burns will look to defend his no. 4 welterweight ranking against the no. 11 ranked contender Jack Della Maddalena.

Burns (22-6) opened as the favorite but has since shifted to being the betting underdog. Coming off a de facto title eliminator loss to Belal Muhammad on short notice, Burns has now gone 3-3 since facing Kamaru Usman for the championship in 2021.

Undefeated since 2016 and currently on a 16-fight win streak, Della Maddalena (16-2) enters the biggest fight of his career having seen his hype wane in the last year after bursting onto the UFC scene due to consecutive split decision victories over Kevin Holland and Bassil Hafez. Della Maddalena enters March 9 with a 7-0 record in the octagon including his win over Ange Loosa on Dana White's Contender Series.

Now 37 years old, Burns will be the oldest fighter on the pay-per-view main card and ten years the senior of his opponent.

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Gilbert Burns vs. Jack Della Maddalena odds and round total

Gilbert Burns vs. Jack Della Maddalena best bet

As the theme is trending to look on March 9, age will likely play a factor in this matchup with Burns now in his 14th year in professional MMA and 17 years in martial arts overall. Burns has not beaten an opponent under 30 years old at welterweight with his last win over a fighter 29 years of age or younger against Mike Davis at lightweight in 2019.

On paper Burns looks like a bad matchup for Della Maddalena, who struggled with the grappling of Bassil Hafez just eight months ago. Burns is arguably the best grappler in this division but has struggled to implement that part of his game in an MMA setting as he ages, hitting just 35 percent of his takedown attempts.

Della Maddalena, conversely, has defended 82 percent of takedowns attempted against him in the UFC while averaging a blistering 7.2 significant strikes per minute on 53 percent striking accuracy. From the way both have looked in their most recent performances, Della Maddalena — the quicker and more athletic fighter — should fare well in his wrestling defense to keep this fight standing.

Without the takedown threat, Burns relies almost exclusively on his power in striking exchanges but does not have enough ability to box with the Aussie. Della Maddalena has been among the most elite defensive strikers thus far — albeit against subpar competition — defending 67 percent of strikes attempted against him.

Since dropping the first two fights of his career, Della Maddalena has only been matched on the feet by Kevin Holland. In seven octagon fights, Della Maddalena has recorded five knockdowns and has picked up 11 of his 16 wins (69 percent) by knockout.

Prediction: Jack Della Maddalena by KO/TKO in round three

Best bet: Jack Della Maddalena moneyline (-150)

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.