Jake Hager, the man previously known as Jack Swagger, will be fighting T.J. Jones in his second MMA fight for Bellator at Bellator 221.
Bellator 221 will take place at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, an arena that Hager knows very well from his WWE days. While no betting odds are out yet for the event, Hager will most likely be the favorite for this fight considering the quick work last time around. There are several online betting on MMA websites which you can check as the event gets closer.
Jones has a 1-1 record and the 28-year-old heavyweight from Missouri has not fought since October 27 at the Revolution Cage Warrior Challenge: Halloween Brawl On Boot Hill event. In that event, Jones defeated Erick Braly who has a 0-2 record himself.
Hager defeated J.W. Kiser via submission in the first round of his debut fight in Bellator last month. The ending came at 2:09 after Hager controlled Kiser on the ground and then locked a head and arm chokehold to make him tap.
The former World Heavyweight champion hoped that by the time his second fight comes around, he would be using his wrestling name of Jack Swagger. While WWE abandoned the trademark in 2011, there’s still a live trademark for the same name filed by Jackson Swagger under “Entertainment in the nature of live musical performances and acting.” Hager hopes that his trademark filing will eventually not interfere with the other Jack Swagger but a quick search on the USPTO website lists no new filings for that name. In fact, the only three filings that come up for Jack Swagger are the two abandoned WWE trademarks and the live one for the other Jack Swagger.
Using the name Jack Swagger is obviously more important for Hager as the majority of fans known him by his WWE name. In fact, during the weigh-ins for his debut fight at Bellator 214, he even did the “We The People” hand gesture. During the telecast of Bellator 214, Hager came out with R-Truth who rapped for his entrance theme and used the “We The People” catchphrase throughout. His video on the big screen also included shots from his time in WWE and he was sporting the “We The People” t-shirt as well.
Hager has often repeated that his MMA career has the support of WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, who told him “not to lose” in his first professional mixed martial arts fight. Several WWE Superstars posted photos and videos on Twitter during his fight showing their support, including recording themselves watching the fight backstage.