Jake Hager at weigh-ins for Bellator 221 (Photo/Bellator)
Jake Hager, a former University of Oklahoma All-American wrestler and WWE star, has been booked for his third Bellator bout in his one-year-old pro MMA career.
Hager -- who signed with the Bellator MMA promotion in November 2017 -- is set to fight Anthony Garrett in a heavyweight (265 pound) match at Bellator 231 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. on Friday, Oct. 25.
The 37-year-old Hager seeks to improve his professional MMA record to 3-0. In his first two appearances under the Bellator banner -- the first taking place in Jan. 2019 -- the former Oklahoma Sooner mat star secured first-round submission victories.
Hager's opponent at Bellator 231, Anthony Garrett, 29, has a 3-1 pro MMA mark in his career launched in June 2016. The Kansas native secured all his wins in the first round -- one by submission, and two by TKO -- in all the Shamrock FC promotion.
In addition to the Hager-Garrett match, Bellator 231's top-of-the-card event will feature two other heavyweights: Frank Mir and Roy Nelson.
Jake Hager may be best known to the general public as former WWE superstar Jack Swagger. However, Hager has brought impressive amateur wrestling credentials to his MMA career. Hager is a native of Perry, Okla., which has produced a number of all-time great amateur wrestlers (including the legendary Dan Hodge). Hager was a two-sport athlete at Perry High School, competing in football and wrestling. He was a two-time finalist at the Oklahoma state wrestling championships, winning the 215-pound title as a junior.
Hager was recruited by Oklahoma for both football and wrestling, but quit football as a sophomore to concentrate on wrestling. He was a runner-up at the 2006 Big 12 conference championships, falling to Oklahoma State's Steve Mocco in the finals. Hager was a two-time NCAA championships qualifier, earning All-American honors as a senior, placing seventh in the 285-pound bracket at the 2006 NCAAs, defeating future heavyweight champ Dustin Fox of Northwestern along the way before losing to defending national champ Mocco. That year, Hager set a Sooner record for the most pins in one season, with 30.