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Jake Hager’s latest MMA fight ends with a very pro wrestling finish

Jake Hager (aka Jack Swagger) ventured back in the MMA world for the third time at Bellator 231. After two dominant submission victories to start his career, Hager’s third bout did not go as smooth.

Hager planned to bring the whole shebang of his skills, specifically power on his feet to mix with his wrestling ability. Hager’s opponent, Anthony Garrett, wanted to implement an in-your-face style to create pressure and get in top position for some pounding.

Let’s head to the tale of the tape for “Big Hurt” Jake Hager versus “Lionheart” Anthony Garrett.

Bellator MMA

Hager wore an Inner Circle t-shirt for his entrance to, “Rooster,” by Alice in Chains.

Hager was supported by Inner Circle companions, Sammy Guevara, Ortiz, and Santana, in attendance. The threesome made camera twice during the main card; first with a name graphic during the entrance and second during the introductions. They also had a live interview during the undercard.

Ding, ding, ding. The opening bell rang. Hager and Garrett threw loose punches like bears pawing at each other. Hager charged forward to grapple Garrett against the fence in a standing position. Hager landed a couple of punches then kneed Garrett in the thigh. Garrett claimed testicular contact and looked to referee Dan Miragliotta for a break, but Miragliotta judged that the knee hit inner thigh as the fight continued. Replay backed that up.

With Hager still in control on the fence, he launched a second knee. This one hit Garrett in the lower gut, but Hager’s shin did make contact with Garrett’s cojones. Miragliotta stopped the action so Garrett could recover.

It didn’t take long for Hager to attempt a third knee strike in the clinch. This time, it was right up the alley directly into Garrett’s stones. Garrett fell to the mat in pain.

Garrett could not continue and the fight was deemed a no contest at 1:56 of Round 1, since the groin damage was not intentional.

There was no post-fight interview opportunity for Hager.

Despite the official outcome, Hager probably would have ended up winning. He was controlling the bout, and Garrett was bleeding from the nose. Garrett was no pushover, however, it looked like only a matter of time before Hager could take him down and go from there. As for Hager’s improvement, he looked better on the feet but not at a level yet that it would become a threat against top competition.

It will be interesting to see if AEW uses this as material for a ball-busting gimmick for Hager. If so, then I feel bad for his future opponents in professional wrestling.

Were you impressed with Jake Hager’s skills? Should AEW acknowledge the result for some heeling heelness for the Inner Circle?

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