‘Dana White broke his rules to sign me – I’ll prove him right again at UFC 286’
Birmingham's Jake Hadley returns at UFC 268 having earned his chance in the promotion after Dana White 'broke all his own rules' to bring him in.
The 26-year-old extended his professional record to 7-0 with a Contender Series victory over Mitch Raposo – but that came after he missed weight.
With White usually snubbing those who didn't make the limit, he saw something special in Hadley who bounced back from a defeat against Allan Nascimento to submit Carlos Candelario last year.
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White went with his gut in handing the youngster a chance to impress on the biggest stage – admitting that he broke all his own rules in the process.
He said at the time: "When I left the back room, my instructions were to not sign this guy."
He added: “I just have a gut feeling that this kid has something special and I broke all my own rules and didn’t listen to what they said, so hopefully I’m right on this and this kid doesn’t make a d***head out of me."
Which flyweight would be the toughest test for Jake Hadley? Tell us in the comments section below.
Hadley (9-1) is now back in action against Malcom Gordon at UFC 286 in a bid to force his way towards the flyweight rankings – and promised an exciting bout.
Hadley told media on fight week: "I'm always here for exciting fights, the only time my fights aren't exciting is when they just try to survive."
Also on the card is ranked flyweight Muhammed Mokaev, with whom Hadley almost clashed in the athlete hotel with bad blood between them.
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The main event brings welterweight champion Leon Edwards (20-3) and former champ Kamaru Usman (20-2) together for a third time following Usman's 2015 decision victory and Edwards' brutal KO victory in August.
Speaking to Daily Star Sport back in October, Edwards said: "It was one of the worst performances of my career and that was the best Usman we're going to get.
"That's what he does in fights that's the best we will see – and it was the worst of me. I think it will be a totally different fight – with the same result."
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