Jake Hager, better known by his WWE ring name Jack Swagger, announced Monday on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani that he had signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA and would make his professional debut in 2018.
The 35-year-old Hager has spent the last 11 years under the WWE and its affiliated developmental territories. The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion was a legitimate collegiate wrestling standout before his pro-wrestling days, taking All-American status as a heavyweight at Oklahoma in 2006, the same season he set the team's heavyweight single-season pin record with 30.
Hager was released by WWE in March and quickly announced an interested in competing in MMA.
For Coker, Hager's signing follows in the footsteps of his previous promotion of WWE notables Bobby Lashley and Daniel Puder dating back to his ownership of Strikeforce. Coker has also confirmed that late last year, he had preliminary talks without another recently released WWE talent, Ryan “Ryback” Reeves.