Former WWE star Jake Hager made his professional MMA debut at Bellator 214, defeating JW Kiser by first round submission.
The wrestler formally known as Jack Swagger knew that everything was going well once that first takedown was secured.
“I felt like I had a big smile on my face,” says Hager to Fightful’s James Lynch during the Bellator 214 post-fight press conference.
Hager has a plethora of amateur wrestling experience as well, having competed at the University Of Oklahoma during his pre-pro wrestling days.
If there was one thing that Hager felt in the lead up to the fight, it was the support of fans and his former colleagues in pro wrestling.
“I felt…one of the reasons why I wanted to cross over and do it with Bellator was because we knew it would make a big splash. I think the response this week have been way more than expected, I had so many wrestling fans…so many of my friends that I’ve worked with over the last 12 years there reach out to me and it was really really humbling and at the same time…exciting. This is very cool,” says Hager.
There is no word yet on when Hager will fight next, but like he said in the post-fight press conference, its a decision that won’t be made by the former pro wrestler.