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Jake Hager Hangs Up the Gloves: A Candid Farewell to MMA

In the world of combat sports, every fighter's journey is a unique tale of grit and determination. Jake Hager, the former WWE champ known as Jack Swagger, recently penned the final chapter of his MMA adventure, and it's a story worth reflecting upon. With a candidness that's as refreshing as it is rare, Hager announced his retirement from MMA, leaving us with a memorable quote: "Bellator was jerking me off."

Hager's foray into MMA, particularly in Bellator, was nothing short of captivating. His debut in January 2019 sent shockwaves through the sport, as yet another professional wrestler sought to make his mark in the cage. Two consecutive victories followed, demonstrating that he possessed the tenacity and skill to compete at a high level in this unforgiving arena.

However, Hager's journey was not without its share of challenges. His third bout ended in a no-contest due to repeated accidental groin kicks, a testament to the unpredictability of MMA. Yet, it was his fourth and final Bellator fight against Brandon Calton that truly showcased his warrior spirit. Hager weathered a storm, nearly getting knocked out in the second round, but he clawed his way back to secure a hard-fought victory on points. This gutsy performance earned him the respect of not only his pro-wrestling colleagues but also fans of the sport.

In a world where retirements are often shrouded in ambiguity, Hager's honesty stands out. He revealed that he retired due to frustrations with Bellator, a sentiment that many athletes may keep behind closed doors. His departure from MMA, while bittersweet, is accompanied by the assurance that he's focusing on his first love—wrestling.

As the MMA landscape continues to evolve, with rumors of Bellator's potential acquisition by the PFL, Hager's retirement serves as a reminder of the sport's constant flux. The future may hold intriguing possibilities, not just for Hager but for the MMA world at large.

Jake Hager's journey through the MMA ranks may have been shorter than some, but it was undeniably impactful. With his candidness and memorable parting words, he leaves a lasting impression, reminding us that in the world of combat sports, honesty and determination are qualities worth celebrating.


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