Dana White Claims UFC Matchmakers Did Not Want Him To Sign Jake Hadley Following DWCS Win

UFC president, Dana White has claimed that longtime promotional matchmakers, Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard both stormed out of the UFC Apex facility last night following Tuesday’s Contender Series card, after he dismissed their advice against signing former Cage Warriors flyweight champion, Jake Hadley.

Featuring on Season 5, Week 7 of the Contender Series, Hadley managed to take a second round submission win over the highly-touted Mitch Raposo. However, the potential signing of the former Cage Warriors champion was cast in doubt following a botched weight cut attempt on Monday.

Improving to 8-0 professionally with the victory, the Birmingham native had tipped the flyweight scales for his matchup with New England native, Raposo on Monday prior to his appearance at the UFC Apex facility, casting a potential signature to the promotion into doubt as a result.

White, who outlined he has a set amount of principles he follows when it comes to signing talent, and has noted in the past that a weight-cut botch would prove detrimental to a UFC hopeful. However, he went against those principles in order to pen Hadley to a deal, against the advice against the aforenoted, Shelby and Maynard.

When I left the back room, my instructions were to not sign this guy (Jake Hadley),” White told assembled media. “According to Hunter (Campbell), Sean (Shelby) and Mick (Maynard) stormed out of the room when I did and took off tonight so they’re not happy about it.

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*ckhead out of me,” White continued.

Speaking with roving reporter and commentator, Laura Sanko after the event, White claimed that Hadley had been rather unpopular with promotion officials and staff during the week, however, cleared up the issue with the undefeated prospect post-fight.

He wasn’t very friendly,” White said. “He’s not a very popular guy around here this week. He seemed shocked when I told him that. I just saw him out in the hallway and I said, ‘Listen, don’t worry about it. Yesterday was yesterday, let’s focus on tomorrow. So let’s make this a great relationship from here on out and let’s do great things together.’ Hopefully, that’s the case.

If the aforenoted promotional matchmakers attempt to offer Hadley overly difficult opponents as a result of his signing with the organization, White has wished the two of them luck in that bid.

Good luck to ’em (Shelby and Maynard), though,” White said. “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.” (H/T MMA Fighting)


Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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