Jack Della Maddalena will still make his octagon debut at the UFC’s first pay-per-view event of 2022.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that Della Maddalena (10-2) will now face fellow newcomer Pete Rodriguez at UFC 270. The event takes place Jan. 22 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Rodriguez replaces Warlley Alves, who was forced to withdraw due to an injury.
Della Maddalena earned a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series this past September with an impressive unanimous decision win over Ange Loosa. The 25-year-old has won 10 straight bouts, finishing nine of those victories, and is considered one of the welterweight division’s brightest prospects.
Rodriguez (4-0) will make his first UFC walk less than two years after making his professional debut. “Dead Game” has stopped all four of his opponents in the first round while competing under the iKON Fighting Federation banner.
UFC 270 features a heavyweight title unification fight between Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane in the main event, along with the trilogy bout for the flyweight championship between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo.
MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin contributed to this report.