AEW’s Jake Hager opened Bellator 231 against Anthony Garrett. Hager brought The Inner Circle with him to the fight. Santana, Ortiz, and Sammy Guevara were shown ringside prior to the fight.
Once the match got started, Hager took control early. Hager cut Garrett with a shot to the face. However, Hager was having a lot of success with knees to the mid-section while in the clutch with Garrett.
The one and only @RealJakeHager is here and looks ready to do battle on his way to the Bellator cage.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) October 26, 2019
Unfortunately for all involved, the success would not continue. Hager caught Garrett in his Crown Jewels with an errant knee strike. Garrett was able to continue.
However, within moments of the match restarting, Hager blasted Garrett with another knee below the belt. It was a brutal shot. Garrett was not able to get up from the shot.
Unlike many of the matches this past week on AEW: Dynamite, the referee was not distracted by the faction ringside. For a moment, it appeared the ref was going to consider disqualifying Hager.
However, the ref determined it was not intentional and ruled the match a No Contest.
NO CONTEST ❌‼️#Bellator231 results: Jake Hager vs. Anthony Garrett ends in no contest due to an unintentional low blow by Hager – Round 1, 1:56.
— ON: MMA (@OnMMA) October 26, 2019
Meanwhile, Vince McMahon did a happy dance because this just proves the Hell In The Cell match that appeared to be a disqualification, but was actually a no-contest was a legitimate finish.
The rumored plan was for The Inner Circle to get a photo opportunity if Hager was able to pick up the victory. That didn’t happen, but I’m sure AEW will be able to spin this in a positive direction.
Hager has been advertised as the muscle of the group. I’m sure we’ll see him take someone out with a massive nut shot on AEW: Dynamite in the very near future.