Jack Swagger Wins Second MMA Fight Under Controversial Circumstances

Jake Hager crushed his latest Bellator opponent, but that isn't the real story...

Jake Hager Jack Swagger
Twitter, @RealJackSwagger

The fighter formerly known as Jack Swagger went 2-0 as a mixed martial artist on Saturday night, besting T.J. Jones at Bellator 221.

A straightforward shellacking saw Jake Hager take Jones down within the first minute. He worked his way to a more advantageous position, then tapped his opponent out with an arm-triangle choke at 2:36 in the first round.

This was the same way Hager defeated his first MMA opponent, J.W. Kiser, on 26 January. Unfortunately, this latest triumph was marred in controversy, as the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion failed to let the choke go even after Jones had tapped out, forcing referee Mike Beltran to pull the victor off of his felled foe.


Then came a bizarre post-fight interview in which Hager claimed he was "rock hard with emotion":-


The whole package was one of the most pro-wrestling things that Bellator has done in 2019, and it fits with their overall presentation, though the jeers Hager received for the way the fight ended were very, very real.

Before the fight, Hager claimed he was aiming to fight for Bellator's Heavyweight Title in 2020. It'll be interesting to see how his career progresses given his amateur wrestling pedigree.

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Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.