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Former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger Signs With Bellator

The former amateur wrestling stud looks to be embarking on an MMA career.

Former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger - real name Jake Hager - is now a part of Bellator MMA's heavyweight division, according to an announcement video posted by the company's Twitter account earlier today.

https://twitter.com/BellatorMMA/status/930153666119483392?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cagesideseats.com%2F2017%2F11%2F13%2F16645300%2Fjack-swagger-jake-hager-signs-with-bellator-mma

Swagger was released by WWE in March, and has since competed on the independent scene for promotions in the United States, UK, and Australia. This latest step will be his first foray into the world of professional mixed martial arts, and his debut fight will apparently come in 2018.

Although 35 years old, Swagger has an extensive amateur wrestling background to draw upon. He was recruited as a two-sport athlete by the University of Oklahoma, but gave up football to concentrate solely on wrestling after a year, and was named an All-American in 2006.

After a couple of years in developmental - including a stint as FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion - Swagger made his WWE debut as a member of the ECW brand in 2008. Before long he was ECW Champion, defeating Matt Hardy in early 2009.

Swagger won the Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania XXVI, cashing in on Chris Jericho on the very next SnackDown to become World Heavyweight Champion. He held the belt for almost three months, before losing it to Rey Mysterio at Fatal 4-Way 2010.

All in all, including his time in developmental, Swagger spent over a decade with WWE. He struggled to find a similar level of success to his brief stint as World Heavyweight Champion, but did win the United States Championship from Zack Ryder in January 2012.

His signing with Bellator will naturally lead to speculation that Swagger will be appearing for Impact Wrestling, given the working relationship between the two companies, and the fact that fellow wrestling/MMA crossover star Bobby Lashley competes for both. Several Bellator figures were present at the recent Bound For Glory pay per view, and even took part in the feud between Lashley and Moose.

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Jack G. King

Written by Jack G. King

Head of News at Cultaholic.com | [email protected]