The debut of UFC flyweight Jake Hadley had been months in the making, but finally arrived at UFC Vegas 54 on Saturday night against Allan Nascimento.
Hadley entered the promotion after earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series last year. “White Kong” submitted Mitch Raposo in October 2021. White had been advised not to sign the English product, due to some behavioral concerns, but he did so anyway. Hadley has had stops in Bellator and Cage Warriors earlier in his career.
Nascimento was a much more experienced fighter out of the Chute Boxe team and is teammates with former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, who cornered him on Saturday. Nascimento did drop his UFC debut at UFC 267 by split decision, but returned against Hadley at the UFC APEX.
Nascimento was busy with kicks early in the fight, throwing them with a lot of power and speed. As soon as Hadley threw a kick Nascimento caught the leg and got the fight down. Hadley used a beautiful omoplata to scramble and get top position. Nascimento did attack the leg and that allowed him to sweep and get on top. Not much action in the final two minutes but Nascimento had the top position the whole time.
Nascimento to start round two threw a lot of kicks to the body. After those kicks, he shot in for a takedown and easily completed it. Hadley tried to get his feet on the hips but Nascimento constantly adjusted, winning the little movements. The Brit kept moving trying to get separation but Nascimento was too heavy. Eventually, Hadley finally got to his knees and back to his feet but right at the bell.
In the final round, Hadley came out aggressive. Nascimento changed levels and Hadley went after a guillotine. The fight went to the mat and Hadley was on top. Nascimento went after a leg and Hadley countered with an arm-triangle attempt. He used it to take the back but fell off the back and Nascimento was on top. Hadley eventually got back to his feet. Nascimento shot in for a takedown and Hadley went after another guillotine. It went to the mat and Nascimento reversed and got on top. Nascimento ended the fight on top.
Hadley’s debut had a fair amount of attention, but it was Brazil’s Nascimento playing spoiler on Saturday.
Official Result: Allan Nascimento def. Jake Hadley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)