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Sport Cage Warriors 114's Jake Hadley says he's ready to 'run through' UFC's best at 125 pounds

14:15  19 september  2020
14:15  19 september  2020 Source:   mmajunkie.com

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Undefeated English flyweight Jake Hadley returns to action on home soil determined to deliver a statement to the UFC that he’s ready to challenge the very best at 125 pounds.

a little boy that is standing in the grass: Record: 5-0 Age: 24 Weight class: Flyweight Height: 5-foot-7 Birthplace: Birmingham, England Next Fight: Sept. 24 vs. Shajidul Haque (10-4) at Cage Warriors 114 in Manchester, England (UFC Fight Pass)  Background: 's father was an amateur boxer. His grandfather was a pro boxer. Fighting is in his DNA. Growing up, Hadley wasn't interested in school, but he loved fighting. Before long, Hadley joined a gym. Then moved to another – and another. Fast forward to his pro career. After beating three lesser-known opponents to start off his professional tenure, Hadley dove into the deep end of the regional pool taking on then-EFC champion and © Provided by SMG Record: 5-0 Age: 24 Weight class: Flyweight Height: 5-foot-7 Birthplace: Birmingham, England Next Fight: Sept. 24 vs. Shajidul Haque (10-4) at Cage Warriors 114 in Manchester, England (UFC Fight Pass) Background: 's father was an amateur boxer. His grandfather was a pro boxer. Fighting is in his DNA. Growing up, Hadley wasn't interested in school, but he loved fighting. Before long, Hadley joined a gym. Then moved to another – and another. Fast forward to his pro career. After beating three lesser-known opponents to start off his professional tenure, Hadley dove into the deep end of the regional pool taking on then-EFC champion and "TUF" alumnus Nkazimulo Zulu at EFC Worldwide 78 in April 2019. In an upset, Hadley defeated Zulu by unanimous decision. In his next fight, Hadley showed the victory wasn't a fluke, defeating fellow hot prospect Blaine O'Driscoll at Bellator 227. On Sept. 24, Hadley will step into the ranks of Cage Warriors, looking to further prove his worth. The Skinny: At 5-0, Hadley is already making a name for himself on the international mixed martial arts scene. Hadley has come so far in such a short time, which poses the question: If he's this good now, how good can he get? It's a tough scenario in that experience is huge in fighter development. But if a guy passes tough tests with flying colors early, what's the point of keeping him on the regional scene? While he has skills inside the cage, he knows how to promote himself on the mic and on social media. A talented grappler, Hadley can handle himself on the feet as well. The step to Cage Warriors will be a perfect gauge. Even if this fight isn't enough to propel him to the big show, the following one should do the trick. In his own words: "This is what I was born to do. Fighting is embedded into me. I'm the hardest working guy in the gym. I train with all top fighters in the gym and I'm the hardest worker by far in the gym. I feel like with my hard work, my dedication, when I finish training, I don't go home and watch TV. I go home. I rest. I have my food and I'm fight-studying. The only thing I've got in my life is fighting – nothing else. "I've pushed myself up the ladder a lot quicker than other people. It's put me on the brink of the UFC at only 5-0, which is unheard of really for a U.K. fighter to be on the brink of the UFC at 5-0. I feel like I deserve it through the opponents I'm fighting and beating." "I'm like 80 percent sure that I'll go the UFC after I win at Cage Warriors 114, especially if I finish him. Obviously, I'm not putting any pressure on myself to finish him. I'm just going in there to win the fight by any means necessary. But I do believe with a win over Shaj, because of Shaj's record and that he's only fought top guys, it should put me in the UFC. If not, we'll be a No. 1 contender fight so I'll be fighting for the belt after. That will be my second world title. Then, I'll undeniably go to the UFC. I expect I'm going to put on such a performance that they'll have no choice but to sign me. It'll be criminal not to sign me."

Hadley (5-0) takes on fellow rising prospect Shajidul Haque (10-4) in the co-main event of Cage Warriors 114, which takes place Sept. 24 at the BEC Arena in Manchester, England. The event streams live on UFC Fight Pass.

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It’s a fight that pits two of the top European flyweight prospects head to head, and Hadley says the level of his opponent presents the perfect test as he bids to prove his worth as a world-class 125-pound contender.

“It’s a top fight, in the UK and Europe, especially,” he told MMA Junkie Radio. “I’m the best flyweight in Europe at the moment who’s not signed to the UFC, and I’d say Shaj is No. 2. He’s a top fighter, he’s got top wins over top guys like Ronnie Mann and Sam Creasey, who’s one of my sparring partners. It’s a good fight. I’m a former world champion in the EFC in South Africa, so I’ve got some big wins, like Zulu, Blaine O’Driscoll in Bellator. So it’s a top fight on a top card.”

Hadley, who has finished four of his five wins, including three in the first round, and captured the flyweight title for South African promotion EFC in 2019, will make his Cage Warriors debut on Sept. 24. But the 24-year-old from Birmingham hopes that future fights will see him competing inside the UFC octagon, where he thinks he already has the ability to mix it up with the world’s best at 125 pounds, including the likes of Joseph Benavidez, Brandon Moreno, Alex Perez and champion Deiveson Figueiredo.

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“To be fair, I honestly believe I could beat them right now,” he stated. “I believe if they were in the gym with me right now, I’d give them hard, hard work. Obviously, it would probably be a harder fight right now, but in a year or two’s time, when I’m actually fighting them, I’ll run through them and I’ll become champion of the world, no doubt in my mind. I feel like I’m already ready, but by the time I fight them, I’ll be more than ready and they won’t even have a chance.”

The reason for Hadley’s confidence is the company he’s already kept at flyweight. While he hasn’t fought in the octagon yet, he thinks his recent opposition is at the same level as those in the UFC, and says that if he gets the opportunity to prove it, he’ll show he’s ready to jump straight onto the big stage and become an instant threat to the world’s best at 125.

“I believe I’m fighting UFC-caliber guys already and I’m not even in the UFC,” he explained. “I fought Nkazimulu Zulu (and) beat him. He was on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 24, the flyweight one, and he did very well in there with them and trained with Henry Cejudo. And, from what I heard, he used to smash Henry Cejudo striking. These are just words on the street, but I feel I could hang with those guys right now. But, by the time I fight them, in a year or two’s time, I’ll finish them, no doubt.”

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Confirmed fights for Cage Warriors 114 include:

MAIN CARD

Champion Samir Faiddine vs. Luke Shanks (for flyweight title) Jake Hadley vs. Shajidul Haque Mateusz Figlak vs. Madars Fleminas Aaron Khalid vs. Mick Stanton Adam Amarasinghe vs. Coner Hignett

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Oban Elliott vs. Michal Figlak Alan Brykalski vs. John Mitchell Matt Bonner vs. George Smith Jack Maguire vs. Ciaran Mulholland MORE:

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(18-7-1 MMA, 11-3 UFC) got out to a fast start in the first round, then stayed patient when (12-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) tried to turn things around in the second. That patience culminated with a stoppage with just four seconds left in the middle frame.  Luque's heavy leg kicks slowed down Brown in the first, and the Brazilian used that opportunity to pepper in big shots with his hands. Halfway through the first, a right hand sent Brown to the canvas. Brown rallied in the second, and he landed a spinning elbow and a takedown. But once Luque was back to his feet, he connected with a knee with Brown against the cage and a flurry of ground-and-pound wrapped things up late in the round.  https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1289745728277843975

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is the latest addition to the Bellator roster. Johns (17-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC), Wales' first UFC fighter, opted to sign with Bellator after he couldn't come to terms with the UFC on a new deal. MMA Junkie confirmed the news after an initial report from ESPN. Johns also released a statement on Instagram, detailing what went wrong during his negotiations with the UFC.

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