Jack Swagger signs with Bellator Fighting to begin his MMA career, brings All-American college wrestling skillset to his new sport (w/Keller’s Analysis)

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Jack Swagger (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)
Former WWE Champion Jack Swagger, real name Jake Hager, has signed with Bellator, a major MMA organization that airs its events on Spike TV.“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” he said in a press release sent to PWTorch.com and MMATorch.com. “It’s something that’s a prat of me so it makes sense. I’m very happy with the deal. I’ve felt a lot of love from Bellator. I think there are certain types of guys who need to be punched in the face and taste blood.  I’ve always been a fan of MMA, I’ve been wrestling since I was five years old. It’s awesome to be with Bellator. They’re really going to put 100 percent towards it!”


Hager wrestled at the University of Oklahoma, where he was an All-American and set the school record for most pins at the 285-pound weight class in a single season with 30. He went on to WWE

Keller’s Analysis: I’m really looking forward to seeing how Swagger does in Bellator. I suspect he will be seen as someone with a chance to land in the Bobby Lashley realm of success because of his amateur wrestling base, rather than C.M. Punk, who had no lifelong base fighting style he had been practicing before his WWE career. MMA seems like something he’s interested in testing himself in at this stage of his life. At 35 years old, and with his wrestling base, he should have a chance to catch up on the overall skill set enough to seem like a credible opponent, but the real work begins now.

NOTE: VIP members can listen to my interview with Jack Swagger this past summer discussing his WWE career and, in particular, the dynamic of a wrestler and a creative team member behind the scenes…

VIP AUDIO 7/21 – Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast – Interview with Jack Swagger and John Piermarini on the dynamic between writer and wrestler in WWE, plus Battleground Preview with Mitchell, more Mailbag (78 min)

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