A childhood obsession with Bruce Lee was what set Barnsley’s Adam Hadfield on the road to becoming a professional fighter.
He remembers first encountering the Kung Fu star’s movies as a seven-year-old and immediately deciding “I want to do that!”
There was no Kung Fu available in the locality, so his parents enrolled him in a karate school. It wasn’t the same as what Lee was doing but it was close enough for the young Hadfield.
A sporty youngster, Hadfield also played football and rugby throughout his school years, but it was the martial arts world which held his most consistent attention.
As he got older he sought tougher forms of competition and that led him into the world of kickboxing, specifically the form followed by GLORY Kickboxing, which is widely considered to be one of the toughest fight sports on the planet.
That toughness is underlined by some of the spectacular injuries Hadfield has endured along the way. His most recent came last year, when fighting on a GLORY Kickboxing feeder show in the Midlands.
“The opponent was a lot heavier than me but I took the fight anyway. In the first round he threw a body kick which I blocked with my arm. The forearm broke straight away, I felt it, but I carried on,” he says.
“We went to decision. I lost the decision, even though I felt I had clearly won, and to add insult to injury the arm ended up being broken in four places.
“When it was x-rayed, the doctor said ‘Basically, the bone has exploded’. Now it’s full of metal plates. It took me six months to recover from that one.”