AEW’s Jake Hager Retires From MMA After Being 'Jerked Around’ By Bellator

The heavyweight competed for Bellator on four occasions after deciding to try his hand at MMA.

Jake Hager claims he’s decided to walk away from MMA and focus on his wrestling career due to the way he’s been treated by Bellator.

The 41-year-old initially rose to prominence as a wrestler after he joined WWE in 2006 and performed under the ring name “Jack Swagger”. Hager won several titles in WWE before leaving the promotion in 2017 to embark on an MMA career, and since 2019 he’s also been wrestling with AEW.

Jake Hager Announces Retirement From MMA

“Rock Hard” hasn’t stepped into the cage since 2020, and during a recent virtual signing on Facebook the former University of Oklahoma wrestler announced he’s decided to hang up his gloves.

"Officially, I’m retired from MMA. I trained hard last year, but Bellator was jerking me off, so I retired and I’m focusing on wrestling now.”

It’s obviously hard to gauge what exactly Hager means when he says that Bellator was “jerking me off”, but fans will likely wonder if that claim has anything to do with the fact that the San Jose-based promotion may be up for sale.

Hager’s retirement may not be a massive loss for Bellator, but “Rock Hard” did have quite a bit of success during his four fights with the promotion. The 41-year-old scored back-to-back wins in the first round via arm triangle after making his debut in 2019, however his final bout of the year against Anthony Garrett did end in a No Contest when Hager inadvertently landed a knee to Garrett’s groin.
The former WWE star returned to Bellator in 2020 and won a split decision over Brandon Calton, and it looks as if that was the final bout of Hager’s MMA career following his recent announcement.