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By Mike Johnson on 2017-11-13 14:25:00

Jake Hager aka the former WWE World champion Jack Swagger, 35, announced today during an appearance on the Aerial Helwani MMA hour radio show that he has signed with Be to fight for Bellator in the Heavyweight division in 2018.

Hager announced last March that he had requested a release from WWE during an appearance on Chael Sonnen's podcast, where Swagger noted that he requested to be let go as he wasn't receiving opportunities from WWE.   

Hager signed a developmental deal in 2006 and received his biggest push in 2009, when he cashed in Money in the Bank and won the World Championship.    When partnered with Dutch "Zeb Colter" Mantel, Hager had a big run that resulted in challenging Alberto Del Rio for the World championship at Wrestlemania 29.  

Hager had not received a sizable push in some time from WWE when he asked for a release.  In 2013, he was arrested for DUI, possession of marijuana and speeding in Louisiana following a WWE TV taping.  He was convicted and sentenced to six months probation and hit with a $500 fine.  The marijuana was charge was dismissed, but the Jack Swagger character was never given consistently featured on WWE programming again in a major way.

Since leaving WWE, Hager has worked for a number of independent promotions, sometimes managed by his wife, Catalina.  One would assume WWE will step in to prevent him from using the Jack Swagger moniker in his MMA exploits.

Fighting as a Heavyweight for Bellator would put Hager in the same circles as another former WWE star, Bobby Lashley.

Bellator has not released a press release as of this writing, but did comment on social media, Tweeting:

Thanks a ton to Tork Lambro for passing on the news!

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