Rising Australian welterweight contender Jack Della Maddalena is charging towards the top of the UFC’s 170-pound division, and plans on adding a big-name scalp to his resume on Mexican Independence Day.

The Noche UFC event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas offers a card packed with exciting matchups, including the women’s flyweight title rematch between Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko. But the co-main event clash between Della Maddalena and Kevin Holland has been earmarked by many as a potential fight of the night candidate.

Della Maddalena had originally agreed to face Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at the event, but after the former title challenger was forced off the event, Kevin Holland was drafted in.

“I was planning on fighting in Sydney, and then the UFC actually called me and said, would you fight ‘Wonderboy’ a week after in Las Vegas? And yeah, I was so excited for that,” Della Maddalena recounted to Submission Radio.

“I said straight away, ‘Yeah, yeah. I’m happy to sacrifice the Sydney card (to) fight ‘Wonderboy.”

“Then, that fell through. It’s pretty upsetting. But yeah, I think Kevin Holland’s also a great name. But yeah, hopefully I can see ‘Wonderboy’ in the future, if it comes together, if he sticks around for a few more fights. But yeah, we’ll see.”

The matchup pits Della Maddalena against a very different type of character, with the super-respectful “Wonderboy” replaced by Holland, who is well known for his penchant for mid-fight conversations with his opponents.

Della Maddalena said he plans to be too focused to let any mid-round comments from Holland knock him off his game.

“We haven’t really gone into that sort of thing,” he admitted.

“I trust I’m gonna be in the zone. I trust that that’s just gonna go literally in one ear, out the other, and I’m gonna be trying to damage him the whole time, and don’t really care if he’s talking or not. But we’ll see, you never know. I’ve never really had an opponent like him, talking during the fight. But I’m gonna try and be in the zone.”

Della Maddalena is conceding a huge experience advantage to Holland, who has double the fights of the Aussie, but the Perth native said he’s excited to go toe to toe with the Texan as he looks ahead to a crowd-pleasing matchup.

“Yeah, he’s tough, he’s a good fighter. He’s fought a lot of experience. So, I think he’s unpredictable. I don’t know how it’s going to go down, but I think when he fights, he’s gonna bring the heat and he’s gonna come after me. So, I think it’s gonna be a good fight. I think we’re gonna get in there and tear it up and we’re gonna send it to the end.”

It’s a fight that could propel Della Maddalena toward the very top contenders in the welterweight division, and the Australian said he wants to deliver an attention-grabbing performance.

“I just want to show that I’m better than him,” he said.

“I want to really piece him up, put on a masterclass, and just let him know that we’re not on the same level. That’s my goal, and that’s what I’m going to do.”