Dana White is used to defending UFC from criticisms about their business practices. A recent incident during White’s Contender Series resulted in staffers walking out on the company. That is not a good look for UFC as the company racks up, yet another, controversy.
It seemed to be just another night of exciting Contender Series fights at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Tuesday. A 25-year-old MMA fighter named Jake Hadley had just won an impressive second round submission over Mitch Raposo. UFC scouts were salivating at the young fighter’s impressive skill set.
Hadley made an unfortunate and potentially fatal mistake in the lead-up to the fight. While it appeared his ticket to MMA stardom was punched, Jake Hadley was awarded a UFC contract by White despite failing to make weight before the Contender Series season 5 matchup.
According to MMA Fighting, this breach of company protocol has never happened in the past. The organization has always had a zero-tolerance policy for a fighter who does not make weight before a fight.
Two top UFC officials walked of the room when they heard that Dana White wanted to sign a fighter who didn’t meet the protocol. Matchmaker Mick Maynard and talent relations head Sean Shelby both stormed out of the room in anger, according to White.
“When I left the back room, my instructions were to not sign this guy. According to Hunter [Campbell], Sean and Mick stormed out of the room when I did and took off tonight so they’re not happy about it.”
Dana believes he made the right decision. His eye for talent told him that Hadley has something that most fighters lack. White thinks that Hadley could be a star in the MMA world.
“Good luck to’ em, though. He’s a talented kid. I like the way he fights. He’s super aggressive, I like the way he fights off his back. When was the last time you saw somebody that busy on his back? I screamed to him, ‘Who the hell is your jiu-jitsu coach? You’re a purple belt? That’s crazy.’”
White acknowledged that he broke the rules by trying to sign Hadley. The UFC head still believes Hadley can make it in the sport. Dana expects the organization’s leadership to make young Jake Hadley’s road to the top as difficult as possible.
We will continue monitoring this ongoing story here at Thirsty.
Do you think the UFC leadership reaction to Jake Hadley missing weight is a little much? Share you thoughts in the comments!