While there has been an influx of MMA stars into the world of professional wrestling as of late, at least one former pro wrestler is making the leap from the squared circle to the octagon. Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger announced Monday that he’s signed a contract with Bellator and will fight as a heavyweight in 2018.
Swagger told MMA journalist Ariel Helwani that he’s been training in boxing and MMA for six months in preparation for a jump to the octagon. “We have been working and talking with them [Bellator] through the summer, we started negotiations and whatnot, and it got finalized this weekend,” he said.
Interestingly, Bellator has two other former/part-time pro wrestlers signed: Bobby Lashley and Ken Shamrock. However, it’s unlikely that Swagger will square off against them anytime soon, as they are much more experienced in MMA.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) November 13, 2017
Can Jack Swagger Make It in MMA?
Whoever he fights, however, it seems likely that Swagger will fare better in his debut than CM Punk did in his. While Swagger is only a few years younger than Punk, which certainly puts him at a disadvantage. He also comes from an extremely successful amateur wrestling background. In 2006, Swagger set the single-season record for most pins in a season (30) at the University of Oklahoma. He was also an All-American that year in the 285-pound weight class.
WWE granted Swagger his release in March. Before his release, the last match he fought in WWE was against Baron Corbin on SmackDown in October 2016.
Swagger is under contract for six fights with Bellator. However, Bellator hasn’t announced the dates of his first fight.
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