Following a yearlong layoff, undefeated flyweight Jake Hadley returned to action this past September versus Shajidul Haque at Cage Warriors 114. He put on the kind of performance he was looking for in order to reestablish himself after his time away.
With less than 10 seconds remaining in the first round, Hadley finished Haque and continue his undefeated streak to start off his career.
“I felt like the fight exactly how I planned it to go, really,” Hadley told MMAWeekly.com. “It went well. Shajidul was a tough opponent. He’s one of the top flyweights in Europe of the last five years, probably longer than that. For me to take him out in one round proves what level I’m on.
“It felt just like sparring, to be honest. I didn’t feel any ring rust or anything like that (from the time off). It felt just like sparring to me.”
Since he had last fought prior to his bout with Haque in 2019, Hadley feels like his game has grown exponentially, and continues to grow even more in the past few months following his return.
“I see loads of development in my game,” said Hadley. “I train year-round. Even when I’m out of camp I’m training two times a day, six days a week, so I’m always constantly improving because I’m constantly in the gym.
“You’ll see even more improvements in my next fight even though it’s only been a short time (from my last one) because I’m always training hard and developing.)
On Thursday in London, Hadley (6-0) will look to add another title to his resume when he faces Luke Shanks (7-1) in the Cage Warriors 117 flyweight championship main event.
“Luke is the Cage Warriors champ and one of the top European flyweights, and has beaten some good lads, but he’s never fought anyone on my level,” Hadley said. “He has some holes in his game, which I’m going to exploit. I’ll give him two rounds and I’ll get him out of there.
“He’s just another step towards my dream of being in the UFC and being a world champion of the UFC.”
As for that move to the next level, Hadley sees no reason why that shouldn’t be his next step should he come out of his bout versus Shanks with another belt in his collection.
“To be honest it has to happen after this fight,” said Hadley. “This will be the second world title I’ve won, the third world champion I’ve beaten. If you look at my record and the opponents I’ve beaten are very top level fighters from all over the globe. I’ve done a lot in my short career.
“I’ve beat a lot of top fighters. I haven’t padded my record. I’ve fought all the best guys available straight away. In my opinion, I’ll go out there and finish Shanks the way I’m going to finish him they’ll have no other option but to sign me.”
(Photo courtesy of Cage Warriors)
Jake Hadley fight highlight reel
(Video courtesy of JD Fight Stuff)