Something big is about to go down at GrandWest tonight. The fans can feel it, the pundits can feel it, and the fighters know it, too.
And there is a special event on the cards as everybody will get to find out if Jake Hadley is worth the hype that he’s been selling when he takes on champion Nkazimulo Zulu for the flyweight title at the Grand Arena.
Picture a Conor McGregor persona, but from England. That is the level of confidence this young man of 3-0 has brought over to South Africa, as he speaks life into his Championship success.
“Nkazimulo has been a champion for a long time now, but his time is over,” says Hadley.
“I am a true mixed martial artist. I know how to beat Nkazimulo. I can submit him, I can knock him out, either way. If you don’t believe me, just tune in and watch it unfold,” says the Birmingham fighter.
Whispers of Hadley knowing how to diffuse Zulu’s attack with rush striking has come to light, and it makes you think if this youngster maybe, just maybe, has something that could crush the hearts of the thousands of "Zuluboy" fans.
Zulu is of course an institution on the African MMA scene at the young age of 28 already, and the EFC bosses have had to look far and wide to find him a suitable opponent able to put his hand up to tarnish the flyweight champion’s 11-2 record.
Again, many have come before Hadley and many have fallen. And it is those cold and hardened nerves of steel, BMT and sniper-like attack that makes Zulu so dangerous.
Not one to be bothered by all the hype, the South African simply shrugged off the English fighter’s comments and stated that "it’s just another opportunity to put meat on the table.”
Zulu had just come off an exceptional fight against Gary Joshua – a fight that almost went the distance before the champion got the big "W" via a guillotine choke in round five.
Then again, Gary Joshua is as good as they come and was considered the only African flyweight at the time to dethrone Nkazimulo.
After surviving the claws and locks of Joshua, Zulu again showed that he is a well-rounded athlete on the feet and the mat and that his range goes far beyond his aggressive and ruthless stand-up attack. Credit to him for overcoming a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist fighting out of SBG.
Hadley has enjoyed his share of two submissions out of his three pro fights so far, but time will tell whether he is delusional about what stands in front of him, or maybe, just maybe he has a trick up his sleeve that could back up his brashness.
If it’s only smoke and mirrors, we could be in for a brutal lesson of MMA and respect.