Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger – real name Jake Hager – made his MMA debut last night, after being serenaded to the cage by the one and only R-Truth.
Truth performed his single ‘That’z Endurance’ that was released last year. You can watch the performance and Hager’s walk-on here:
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) January 27, 2019
The heavyweight bout took place on the Bellator 214 card emanating from The Forum in Inglewood, California. Hager convincingly beat his opponent JW Kiser in just 2:09 in the first round with an arm-triangle choke.
The success prompted – albeit quite concise – praise from former Bellator fighter and current WWE Intercontinental Champion Bobby Lashley:
— Bobby Lashley (@fightbobby) January 27, 2019
Swagger had been training in MMA for 18 months before his debut last night at Batista’s MMA & Ybor City Jiu-Jitsu Club in Tampa, Florida.
WWE also released the following statement on their website congratulating Hager on his win:
The All-American American has found a new home in MMA!
Jack Swagger, fighting under his real name, Jake Hager, defeated JW Kiser by submission in the first round on Saturday night. Hager looked impressive in his Bellator MMA debut, showing a wide array of skills and channeling his University of Oklahoma amateur wrestling background. In a special moment before the big victory, Hager was played out to the cage by R-Truth!
Hager, who was a two-sport athlete in college (wrestling and football), set a record for most pins in Oklahoma school history, en route to being named an All-American during his collegiate career. Hager, of course, also compiled an impressive resume during his time in WWE, winning the World Heavyweight Championship, United States Championship and ECW Championship.
Hager will now look to parlay all of that success into his time in Bellator, starting strong in his defeat of Kiser, now boasting a 1-0 record.
Let the CM Punk jokes begin.