Bellator has signed a heavyweight with plenty of pro wrestling experience, but no MMA experience.
Bellator CEO Scott Coker is no stranger to bringing in fighters as attractions more than actual title challengers. After all, he is the guy that let Herschel Walker fight in Strikeforce. Back when he ran that organization, he also flirted with getting Dave Bautista a fight, and did bring in Bobby Lashley.
Now he has a former WWE superstar for the Bellator roster – Jake Hager, better known to pro wrestling fans as Jack Swagger. He was announced as the latest signing as a guest on The MMA Hour today.
Hager, 35, isn’t quite in the mold of Brock Lesnar, but he’s not exactly CM Punk either. The 6’7”, 275-pound Hager was an NCAA Division 1 All-American at Oklahoma in his senior year in 2006, but then was recruited by Jim Ross and the WWE. He performed as a pro wrestler for over a decade before parting ways with the organization earlier this year.
He has made rumblings about wanting an MMA fight, speaking to FloSlam about it:
“I mean if you look at my background and how popular combat sports are now, then it is one hell of an opportunity but also one hell of a risk which could be an even greater reward. I have been training for months now getting into shape but it’s been ten years since I competed at amateur wrestling levels. There are a lot of things to consider. I like what Bellator are doing right now and the roster is filling up and its not just top-heavy, the guys in the middle of the rankings are very competitive and dangerous. My good friend Josh Rafferty has done MMA and pro-wrestling so we are always talking about it.”