Jake Hager got his first “no-contest” in MMA when he faced Anthony Garrett at Bellator 231. In what was believed to be a step up in competition turned out to be an opponent who wanted out of the fight, at least that’s what Hager believes. Two unintentional shots to the groin of Garrett would end the fight in the first round in an anticlimactic finish.
“I’m a competitor, I’m a fighter and for him to do something like that, it’s just…whatever,” Hager told media after the event. “We all have cups on out there, I didn’t feel a cup,” Hager said as he believed when the action started and Garrett felt his pressure, he wanted out of the fight. “I’m here to fight; I just don’t think he was tonight.”
Coincidentally, the last time a seemingly bad groin shot that ended a fight in Mohegan Sun it wound up being rebooked. However, Hager would prefer another opponent as he believed Garrett “didn’t want to be in there anymore.”
Outside of the way things ended, Hager felt the match was going his way and he accomplished what he set out to do in his evolution as a mixed martial artist before the bout ended. He feels he has done enough to prove he belongs in Bellator MMA and has a long term goal of eventually getting a title shot. While he is fully aware that he is a “work in progress,” he hopes the only juggling he will have to do with both his pro-wrestling career with All Elite Wrestling and Bellator will be to become the first athlete to have both a pro wrestling title and MMA title “at the same time.”
When asked, Bellator president Scott Coker did not say when Hager would be returning to the cage but Hager was clear that he wanted to return soon.
Do you think Anthony Garrett wanted out of the fight with Jake Hager?