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Cage Warriors flyweight champion Jake Hadley: ‘I’ve been ready for the UFC for a long time’

Cage Warriors champion Jake Hadley is ready to take his career to the next level.

The undefeated English prospect recently captured the promotion’s flyweight title with a landslide unanimous decision win over Luke Shanks at Cage Warriors 117 in December and says he’s more than ready to compete against the UFC’s top contenders at 125 pounds.

Despite not having too many pro fights under his belt, Hadley (7-0) thinks his resume speaks for itself.

“I feel like I should have been in the UFC even a long time ago, really,” Hadley told MMA Junkie Radio. “Yes, I’m only seven fights into my career, which ain’t a lot, but if you look at my last four opponents, Nkazimulo Zulu was on ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ EFC world champion, flyweight and bantamweight. He’s had 15 pro fights. Blaine O’Driscoll was a world champion. Shajidul Haque had 15 fights plus beat all the top guys in the U.K. and Europe. Luke Shanks is a Cage Warriors champion.

“All these guys I’m beating, they’re top guys. They are UFC level, as well. I’m beating all the top guys. I feel like I’m already ready for the UFC, and I’ve been ready a long time, and I feel like I’ve been deserving a long time.”

Cage Warriors is a proven springboard to the UFC, with the likes of Conor McGregor, Michael Bisping and Jack Hermansson all competing there early in their careers. But with the UFC introducing various avenues such as “The Ultimate Fighter” and “Dana White’s Contender Series,” Hadley may not receive an immediate shot.

While Hadley is aware that he’s not geographically in the most convenient location to get a short-notice call, he thinks he’s done enough to receive a direct contract.

“To be fair, I feel like I deserve a straight contract through what I’ve achieved here in Europe and even around the world,” Hadley said. “I’ve been over to South Africa and fought top lads. I feel like I deserve a straight contract, but if they said to me, ‘Do you want to do Contender Series?’ I’d just do it because why not? I’m just ready to fight. I’d do Contender or Ultimate Fighter ,no problem, but I honestly believe I deserve a straight contract, and I’ll fight any of them. You can put any of the guys in the top 15, I ain’t really bothered. I’d take them all out, no problem.”

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