Meet current Cage Warriors champion Jake Hadley, who like UFC welterweight Leon Edwards hails from Birmingham, and is one of the hottest UK prospects to keep an eye on in 2021.
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The highly-touted flyweight, who is sponsored by Santini 7 Sport, is somebody every fight fan should know about. At 24-years-old, 'White Kong' is already 7-0-0 in his professional career and has built a reputation for himself on the regional MMA circuit.
Hadley has still yet to defend his brand-new belt but the fighter has already set his sights on some of the UFC's up-and-coming talents, with his hitlist including the likes of Jimmy Flick and Francisco Figueiredo, the brother of flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo.
When asked how he would fare against the likes of Flick and Figueiredo, Hadley exclusively told GIVEMESPORT:
'Flick's just a jiu-jitsu guy, isn't he? He's a long, lanky guy who triangles people. The guy is terrible. I don't even think he'd get out of the first round.
'I'd like to smash Figueiredo just to p--- off his brother. I don't even give him a round either. He won't get out of the first.
'I'm well-rounded, I can knock you out, or take you down and smash you, no problem. Leo vegas casino canada. I'm the true definition of a mixed martial artist. I'm the new breed of fighter with a high fight IQ and nobody's got a chance of touching me here in Europe.'
Hadley captured the Cage Warriors 125-pound title in just his seventh career fight after he largely dominated Luke Shanks from start to finish to pick up a shutout win at CW 117 in London last year.
However, unlike the likes of Cage Warriors alumni Arnold Allen and Mason Jones, he has spent his entire career learning the tips and tricks of the trade at his local gym Team Fearless MMA.
'Rocky [Edwards] has proven that you don't need to go to train abroad to become the top five fighter in the world. There was all this belief at one stage that you've got to go to America to become the best in the UFC.
'Obviously Birmingham is making waves at the moment, we've got the Edwards brothers, Jai Herbert, Tom Breese and Nathias Frederick, you know, multiple guys, guys from all over the country as well who come down to spar with me. We have fighters who travel from all over the country to come and train down in Birmingham.
'I've got an EFC world title, I've got a Cage Warriors world title, and I beat another world champion in a non-title fight. I've beaten all of these geezers and hardly any of them has landed a glove on me. That comes down to my team in Birmingham, my hard work and my high fight IQ.
'I haven't heard anything yet but I'm always in the gym and I'm ready to go. I'm ready to go now. So if the UFC come with an opportunity, say in a week's time, two weeks, then no problem. I'll jump in. I'm a company man. I'm ready for the UFC.'
Like Edwards, Hadley himself is no stranger to a bit of adversity, having travelled halfway across the world to dominate Nkazimulo Zulu and capture the EFC flyweight title in enemy territory.
With two titles from two different promotions to his name, you'd imagine it will not be too long before the UFC come calling.
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Hadley is currently managed by Paradigm Sports Management which represents a roster of over 60 clients including the likes of Conor McGregor and Manny Pacquiao, so it's no surprise he has attracted attention from a number of sponsors, including Santini 7 Sport.
'Santini reached out to me through the socials and we started working together about a year ago. I use all of their supplements and their whey protein, Angry Dog, and it tastes the best out of every brand I've tried before.
'I've bought protein my whole entire life but it's easy to mix and it really helps with my recovery. Like I say, I've used protein companies my entire life. There's no bad s--- in it, it's all good stuff. I like the raspberry ripple flavour, that's my favourite one.
'You should try it yourself. That's what I say to people - try it yourself, if you don't believe me, just try it. It's one of the top brands you can get and it's a local company. Support your people, support your local businesses, you know what I mean.'
While the UFC's flyweight division is fairly stacked at the moment, Hadley's addition would definitely make things a lot more interesting.
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Of course, Deiveson Figueiredo currently reigns supreme right now, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Hadley make the jump before too long.
This exclusive interview with Jake Hadley is in conjunction with Santini 7 Sports, check them out now on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!News Now - Sport News
There are last-minute fight cancellations – and then there’s what happened at UFC Fight Night 185. For the first time, a bout was canceled after one fighter made the walk to the cage.
The third fight of the card was scheduled to be Chas Skelly vs. Jamall Emmers. After Skelly (18-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) already was in the cage, however, Emmers (18-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) did not make the walk on his queue.
According to the broadcast, Emmers suffered back spasms backstage and was unable to compete. The broadcast also added that Emmers’ “body had shut down,” prompting Nevada Athletic Commission officials to intervene.
Ring announcer Joe Martinez made the official announcement on the microphone that the fight was canceled because of “medical reasons backstage” as Skelly awkwardly left the cage without throwing a single punch.
Although he did not compete, Skelly still was given the opportunity for a post-fight interview on the ESPN+ broadcast. Skelly used his time to make his pitch for still getting paid and wished Emmers well.
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“I’m feeling like I should get my win bonus,” Skelly said. “I weighed in, I made weight, and I stepped in the cage. That’s how I feel. I hope Jamall is OK.”
Skelly, 35, has not competed in an MMA fight since September 2019 and had contemplated retirement in 2020. UFC Fight Night 185 marks his third consecutive bout cancellation.
UFC Fight Night 185 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streamed on ESPN+.