AEW Star Jake Hager Announces Retirement From Mixed Martial Arts

Jake Hager's bread and butter over the years has been his career in professional wrestling — and most recently, as a champion for purple bucket hats. Therefore, it's easy to forget his second career as an MMA fighter, contracted to Bellator MMA since 2017. But it's been three years since he's stepped inside the cage for a professional fight, and it doesn't look like that'll be changing anytime soon. During a "K&S WrestleFest" virtual signing, Hager announced that he was done with MMA, placing significant blame on Bellator for that being the case.

"Officially, I'm retired from MMA," Hager stated. "I trained hard last year, but Bellator was jerking me off. I retired and I am now just focusing on wrestling."

Hager may have only fought on four occasions, but he maintained an undefeated record throughout — going 3-0-1 in his relatively short career. He had previously announced plans to fight twice in 2022, but none of that ever came to pass with him remaining inactive all of last year outside of training. 

He's also kept a limited schedule in professional wrestling though. This year, he's only wrestled a total of 14 matches in an AEW ring. He had remained visible as a part of the Jericho Appreciation Society before leaving the group in recent months. He has since remained aligned with other departed members of the J.A.S. and recently was involved in the Over Budget Charity Battle Royal during the All Out: Zero Hour pre-show. 

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "K&S Wrestle Fest" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription