Jake Hager hasn’t competed in MMA for nearly three years and it doesn’t sound like he has any plans to return.
During a recent autograph signing with K&S WrestleFest streamed on Facebook, the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) star Hager was asked his MMA status, considering his most recent fight was in October 2020 and he had not previously indicated his retirement publicly.
“Officially, I’m retired from MMA,” Hager said. “I trained hard last year, but Bellator was jerking me off so I retired and I am just focusing on wrestling now.”
It’s unclear whether Hager’s comments were meant to indicate unpleasant dealings with Bellator had transpired or if they were simply a joke made by a pro wrestling character. The promotion did not respond to MMA Junkie’s inquiry for comment seeking clarity Wednesday.
Hager, 41, competed four times in professional MMA from January 2019 to October 2020. All outings came under the Bellator banner where he compiled a 3-0 record with one no contest. His final MMA bout was a grueling, back-and-forth battle with Brandon Calton at Bellator 250 in October 2020. During the bout Hager sustained significant facial damage, but ultimately won a split decision.
Before, during, and after his MMA career, Hager made his name in the world of professional wrestling as a WWE and AEW champion. He first reached international fame during a stint with WWE from 2008 to 2017. After two years on the independent circuit, Hager debuted in AEW in 2019. He’s been with the promotion since.