Jake Hager has made a surprising announcement, bidding farewell to his MMA career after participating in four fights under the Bellator banner. At the age of 41, Hager had been absent from the Bellator cage since October 2020, when he secured a split decision victory over Brandon Calton at Bellator 250.
In a candid statement made during a K&S Wrestlefest autograph signing event, streamed live on Meta, Hager declared, “I’m officially hanging up my MMA gloves. I put in the work last year, but Bellator was playing mind games with me, so I decided to call it quits and redirect my focus towards wrestling.”
A Bellator representative confirmed that Hager’s contract with the promotion had expired several weeks ago and emphasized, “We maintain an excellent relationship with Jake.”
Hager burst onto the MMA scene with flair, following in the footsteps of numerous professional wrestlers who ventured into this intense sport. The former WWE champion, previously known as Jack Swagger, made his Bellator debut in January 2019. He made an immediate impact by securing two consecutive victories. However, his third bout ended in a no-contest due to accidental groin strikes on his opponent.
One of Hager’s most memorable battles was against Brandon Calton, a former Pittsburgh Steeler. This grueling encounter lasted three rounds, with Hager narrowly escaping a knockout in the second round, ultimately prevailing on the judges’ scorecards. His resilience and determination earned him admiration from fellow pro-wrestler Chris Jericho and a spot in AEW, where he found a new home after departing from WWE.
Rumors have been circulating about the possible acquisition of Bellator by rival MMA promoter PFL, although no official announcements have been made. Bellator’s featherweight champion, Patricio Pitbull, hinted at the potential ramifications of such a sale, raising the possibility of his move to the UFC.
As Jake Hager closes the chapter on his MMA journey, wrestling fans can look forward to his continued contributions to the world of professional wrestling. It’s a reminder that in the ever-evolving world of combat sports, twists and turns are never in short supply.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MMA Retirement
Why did Jake Hager announce his MMA retirement?
Jake Hager announced his retirement from MMA due to contract issues with Bellator. He mentioned feeling frustrated with the promotion, which led him to shift his focus back to wrestling.
How long was Jake Hager’s MMA career?
Jake Hager’s MMA career spanned from January 2019 to his retirement announcement in recent times, comprising a total of four fights under the Bellator banner.
What were Jake Hager’s notable achievements in MMA?
Hager made a significant impact in MMA by securing two consecutive victories in his initial bouts. However, his third fight ended in a no-contest due to accidental groin strikes on his opponent.
Where did Jake Hager go after leaving WWE?
Following his departure from WWE, Jake Hager found a new home in AEW (All Elite Wrestling), where he continued his career in professional wrestling alongside notable figures like Chris Jericho.
Is there any news about the potential sale of Bellator?
While there have been rumors about Bellator’s possible acquisition by the rival MMA promoter PFL (Professional Fighters League), no official announcements regarding the sale have been made.
What could the sale of Bellator mean for fighters like Patricio Pitbull?
Patricio Pitbull, Bellator’s featherweight champion, hinted at the potential consequences of Bellator’s sale, suggesting that it could open doors for him to move to the UFC.
More about MMA Retirement
- Jake Hager Announces MMA Retirement – MMA Fighting article covering Jake Hager’s retirement and the reasons behind it.
- Bellator MMA – Official website for Bellator, where you can find updates on the promotion and its fighters.
- AEW (All Elite Wrestling) – Official website of AEW, where Jake Hager continued his wrestling career after leaving WWE.
- Potential Bellator Sale Rumors – MMA Hook article discussing the rumors surrounding the sale of Bellator and its potential implications for fighters.