MMA News: Story behind R-Truth showing up at Bellator 214

What's up?
What's up?

What's the story?

Jack Swagger kicked off his MMA career with a win, as he defeated J.W. Kiser at Bellator 214 via an arm-triangle choke in the first round.

The former WWE Superstar may have embraced MMA, but he still isn't completely done with pro wrestling. A report from PWInsider revealed that the WWE and Bellator had worked out a deal for the MMA promotion to use components from Swagger's time with the pro wrestling company as part of his pro MMA debut.

In case you didn't know...

The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion left WWE in March 2017, and briefly worked on the independent circuit for various promotions. He was also pushed as a main event talent in Lucha Underground, but at 36 years old, Swagger realized his higher calling was in MMA.

He began mixed martial arts training in 2017, and was announced as part of Bellator's Heavyweight division. Swagger, real name Jake Hager, finally made his pro fight debut on 26 January 2019, at Bellator 214, after training out of Dave Batista's Ybor City Jiu-Jitsu Club for almost 18 months.

He faced 41-year-old J.W. Kiser (1-1) and made quick work of the American with his superior grappling techniques. Swagger finished the fight in the first round itself by applying the arm-triangle choke on Kiser from half guard.

It was a highly professional performance from the former All-American collegiate amateur wrestler, who in his post-fight interview, sent a message to his former WWE boss Vince McMahon.

The heart of the matter

Swagger incorporated many elements from his time as a WWE Superstar in his recent Bellator debut. He walked out to the cage using an entrance theme that had a 'We the People' audio sample at the beginning. He consistently used the catchphrase in the build-up to the fight, and even after his impressive victory. It seemed like he was still portraying his WWE gimmick.

That's not all, Swagger revealed his plans on filing for a trademark on his pro wrestling name to be used officially in his MMA career going forward. Bellator has been referring to him by his real name Jake Hager, but the masses still identify him as the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Jack Swagger.

What's next?

Swagger has committed himself to MMA for the next decade or so, and will be in action sooner rather than later for Bellator. However, this time he is expected to face stiffer competition from the stacked Heavyweight division of Bellator.

It would be interesting to see whether WWE and Bellator's agreement is a long-term one, and most importantly, how it affects Swagger's MMA career.

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