Las Vegas, NV – After a couple attempts at making his UFC debut, flyweight Jake Hadley finally gets to step into the octagon to make his official debut against Allan Nascimento at UFC Vegas 54 on Saturday night.
“It feels amazing to finally be in the UFC. It’s a dream come true so I’m very excited for Saturday night,” Haldey told reporters on Wednesday.
Haldey (8-0) had to wait since Oct. 2021 to finally get his first official UFC fight, but he looked at the silver lining of it all. He had suffered an undisclosed injury that pulled him from his the first match up with Nascimento.
“It was very upsetting for me, but I’ve got to look at it as a good thing because I feel improved from it. Mentally improved from it. It’s just a little setback, but it’s God’s plan so everything happens for a reason,” Hadley said.
Even if he didn’t see it that way at the beginning.
“I was like depressed basically. I was able to train around it. It didn’t push me back too long so it’s not nothing major, major. Which I’m quite thankful for because I’ve been training like 13-14 years and I’ve never really had like a bad serious injury. So this is my first one that put me out for a little while. I’ve got to be thankful for that because I see a lot of guys who are just on the come up and blow their ACL out in their knee and I feel sorry for them,” Hadley said.
Now he makes his debut against an experienced opponent with one UFC fight under their belt.
“I like this matchup because I think Allan is the best unranked guy in the division in my opinion. If you look at him skill-wise he’s got good striking, very good jiu jitsu and I think the fans are very excited for this fight based on his skill set,” said Hadley.
The experience gap might make a difference in people picking Hadley to win, but for “White Kong” it says more about what the UFC thinks of him.
“This shows what the UFC think of me by putting me in there with a guy who’s had 24-25 pro fights. It shows what the UFC think of me compared with putting me in there with a guy who’s like 6-2 or 7-2. Obviously the UFC got high expectations for me. Saying that, I’ve got a lot of experience for a guy who’s 8-0,” he said.
If he’s able to get a win with no injuries Hadley may be able to ask for a bout on the upcoming London card in July. The Brit, however, isn’t looking past the fight in front of him.
“Obviously I’m planning on coming out of here fresh as a daisy and fighting in July,” Hadley said.
“But I’m prepared for war. I’m blood thirsty and I’m prepared for war. If it’s got to be rough and tough then that’s how it’s got to be.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 54 Media Day appearance by Jake Hadley above. More coverage from the event can be found at CagesidePress.com