Jake Hager returned to the cage at Bellator 250 for a heavyweight fight against Brandon Calton. Hager's spotless MMA record was on the line against the undefeated Calton, and the two towering heavyweights put on an absolute slugfest during the prelims of the event. Hager sported the AEW logo on his trunks, and he also endorsed the Inner Circle by wearing a t-shirt of the faction while making his way to the cage.
Hager's fourth professional MMA fight wasn't like his previous bouts, as both men went the distance. The AEW Star took a lot of punishment throughout the 3-round war, and he could have very well been knocked out at the end of the second round. However, Jake Hager dug deep and rallied in the third and final round to do enough for a split decision victory.
Hager's battered post-fight condition said it all.
AEW congratulated Jake Hager on the win. Chris Jericho also reacted to his fellow Inner Circle member's big win.
Holy smokes @realjakehager just won a WAR at @bellatormma 250 tonight and remains UNDEFEATED IN MMA!! Even though his modeling career might be over, you might wanna think twice if you wanna mess with the #InnerCircle... #ToughAF
Renee Young, who recently left WWE and is a known MMA fan, was in awe of the fight and congratulated Hager for his performance.
Wow! What an absolute slugfest!! Congrats on the W @RealJakeHager , now someone grab that man a raw cold steak for that face.
Jake Hager vs. Brandon Calton at Bellator 250 - As it happened
As expected, Jake Hager relied on his wrestling to take the fight to the ground, but Calton was a tough customer. Calton made life difficult for Hager, forcing the fight to happen on the feet.
While Hager did enjoy his fair share of success with the takedowns, the stand-up battle very nearly knocked him out cold.
'The Bone Crusher' rocked Hager with a huge cross, and the AEW Star wobbled his way towards the cage while also trying to close the distance and buy some time to recuperate.
Jake Hager survived and showed his toughness to get his act together in the third round. Hager used the jabs really well in the final round despite getting tagged with Calton's right-hand punches. Hager used the clinch to his advantage and finished the fight in his favor with a series of jabs and kicks.
In the end, Hager was adjudged the winner via split decision. Jake Hager won the fight 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 on the scorecards, and it ended up being a hard-fought victory for the AEW Star. Hager picked up his third win in Bellator, and his gritty performance would have surely earned him a new set of fans.