Jake Hager is making a move from the ring to the cage, and doing it in quick fashion.
Hager is set to face unbeaten heavy hitter Brandon Calton October 29 at Bellator 250, in a fight that was announced last week. He told Fightful that he was made aware of the fight about a month ago, and getting clearnace from All Elite Wrestling wasn't tough to do.
"It’s pretty easy. Right now I’m riding high with Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle. So, really, I just gotta get the storylines approved ahead of time. If not, have like a song or dance routine or something while I’m not there. I thought that was incredible, by the way. Really groundbreaking. But, they love that I fight. Tony (Khan) wants to make sure that I tell everyone that Tony tells me to win," Hager stated.
Transitioning back and forth between MMA and pro wrestling is easier for some than others. Hager has made a great impression so far, going unbeaten in three MMA fights. For Hager, being charismatic within the world of MMA comes naturally.
"I think it always pays to be a character. It pays to be entertaining, to have charisma, to have a certain way that you look or make people feel. It’s always good. As a wrestler that was one of my toughest things to learn getting into the pro wrestling business. You know a guy’s character is bigger than being able to have a five star wrestling match every time. You gotta have a character to really get people invested in you and really care about you. MMA is the same way. Now, you can have a different style of character. You’re not going to bo be quite so over the top ‘cause you do get your shit called out with a right hand and then all of a sudden that character’s gone. But, at the same time, I really enjoy MMA audience ‘cause I’m used to playing to a crowd. So, after that second fight in Chicago and they were all booing me or whatever, it was like the easiest promo I’ve ever cut and it’s probably one of my best ones. I know everyone thinks I can’t talk, but right after a fight you have all the confidence in the world. When the MMA audience is kinda feeling that and you’re like, “Oh, you guys just made a mistake. I’m gonna get you now.” It’s like licking your chops, it’s fun. I don’t mind being the bad guy if that’s what I have to do. But, I’m going to stand out either way," Hager said.
As mentioned, Hager has had an absence over recent weeks. As a result, his teammate Chris Jericho has resorted to signing Rat Pack tunes on AEW Dynamite. Don't expect to see that from Hager.
"Ah, man. I would love to put on a top hat and cane and give you all the jazz hands. I promise you there might be a time. Then I get sued by my good friend Chris Jericho," Hager closed.
Hager competes on Thursday, October 29 against Brandon Calton at Bellator 250. You can watch the fight on CBS Sports Network and see Hager every Wednesday night on All Elite Wrestling Dynamite on TNT. Check out our full interview with Hager at the top of the page.