Maddalena’s scheduled short-notice welterweight bout against Josiah Harrell was cancelled on Friday following UFC 290’s official weigh-ins as a result of a serious medical issue on Harrell’s side, MMA Fighting confirmed with sources close to the situation.
According to his manager Maurice Blanco, Harrell’s pre-fight MRI revealed a case of moyamoya, a rare neurological condition that, if left untreated, puts patients at high risk for a stroke. Harrell’s condition is similar to that of former UFC fighter Vince Murdock, who also had a short-notice UFC debut cancelled due to a surprise diagnosis of moyamoya. Same as Murdock, who ultimately returned to compete on The Ultimate Fighter and the UFC’s Contender Series, Harrell’s condition is currently not considered to be career-ending.
He is expected to undergo a procedure to address the condition soon.
A UFC newcomer, Harrell was booked against Maddalena on less than one week’s notice after Maddalena’s original opponent Sean Brady withdrew from the contest due to a nasty bout of Streptococcus B in his left elbow. Several UFC veterans campaigned to face Maddalena on short notice, including Kevin Holland and Chris Curtis, however Harrell was ultimately given the opportunity following his viral win in June over Mike Roberts at LFA 160.
Maddalena (14-2) is generally regarded as one of the top rising talents at 170 pounds. The native Australian is a perfect 4-0 with four first-round stoppages over his octagon run, the last three of which earned him post-fight bonuses. He defeated Randy Brown in less than three minutes in his most recent outing this past February.
Maddalena told MMA Fighting on Wednesday that he hoped to re-book the Brady fight for Sept. 10 at UFC 293 in Sydney after his bout against Harrell.
UFC 290 takes place Saturday, July 8, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The card will now proceed forward with 13 bouts.
Mike Heck and Damon Martin contributed to this report.