Jack Swagger needed only more than two minutes to win his first professional mixed martial arts bout.
The former WWE champion cruised to an early submission of J.W Kiser in his highly-anticipated MMA debut at Bellator 214 last Saturday at The Forum in Inglewood, California, which aired live on Paramount and DAZN.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) January 27, 2019
Months after his departure at the wrestling promotion, WWE, Jake Hager, popularly known as Jack Swagger, announced that he is switching to mixed martial arts. In November 2017, the former WWE world heavyweight champion inked a deal with Santa Monica-based promotion, Bellator, to compete on its heavyweight division.
Bellator then booked the 36- year old fighter for his first Octagon appearance against J.W Kiser. Following months of anticipation, Jack Swagger finally made his debut last weekend in the conclusion of the promotion’s Heavyweight World Grand Prix, which featured Ryan Bader and Fedor Emelianenko in the main event.
Hager made heads turn in his MMA debut after coasting to an impressive submission of Kiser at the 2:09 mark of the opening round, much to the delight of his WWE family.
The 36-year old American needed to absorb a solid punch early in the first round before bringing his opponent down to secure an arm triangle choke. The 41-year old Kiser held on for some time before tapping out, which steered Hager to his first ever pro-MMA career win.
Watch the sequence in the video below:
“It was a matter of keeping my posture and then it was just a matter of time before I put it on him,” said the former WWE heavyweight champ.
He went on to thank his pro wrestling family for the positive reception and the support on his switch to MMA.
“A lot of pro wrestlers don’t get the best receptions. I feel like everybody loves me. What’s not to love. It’s been a very positive reception. I feel like my background definitely has helped. As far as pro wrestlers, everybody from Vince McMahon to Rey Mysterio to Roman Reigns…I feel like I’m a pro fighter so to have that pro wrestling family stand by me and support me has been really, really special.”
See full results of Bellator 214 below:
Ryan Bader def. Fedor Emelianenko via KO (punches) 1
Henry Corralesdef.Aaron Pico via KO (punches) 1
Jake Hager def.J.W. Kiser via Submission (arm-triangle choke) 1
Juan Archuleta def.Ricky Bandejas via Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Adel Altamimi def. Brandon McMahan via Submission (armbar) 1
Thor Skancke def.Jesse Merritt via Submission (north-south choke) 1
Jesse Roberts def. AJ Agazarm via Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Weber Almeida def. Odan Chinchilla via KO (punch) 1
Art Rivas def. Sean Johnson via TKO (knees and punches) 1
Jay Jay Wilson def. Tyler Beneke via Submission (rear-naked choke) 1
Ryan Lilley def. James Barnes via KO (head kick) 1
Craig Plaskett def.Ian Butler via Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Desmond Torres def. Steve Ramirez via Submission (arm-triangle choke) 1
(Featured Image Source: Instagram/Jack Swagger and YouTube/DAZN)