COLOGNE, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 11: Jack Swagger during WWE Road to WrestleMania at the Lanxess Arena on February 11, 2016 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images)

Bellator MMA has signed Jake Hager, also known under his WWE wrestling name Jack Swagger, to a multi-year, multi-fight contract today. Hager made the announcement Monday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. He indicated that he would be making his MMA debut in 2018, as well as wanting to have two fights next year.

WWE star @RealJackSwagger has signed with @BellatorMMA. Did you see this coming? Full details: https://t.co/T0lSCTKkWg #TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/DwwNAZtOEd

— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 13, 2017

While some might see the move as another publicity stunt by Scott Coker and Bellator. Hager has more in common with Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley than he does with UFC failure Phil Brooks, aka CM Punk. Hager was a star wrestler in the NCAA with the University of Oklahoma. He set a school record with 30 pins during the 2006 season, and was an All-American in the 285-pound weight division.

The 35-year-old Hager was with the WWE for 11 years. He won the WWE World Title as well as the WWE US Title. He was best known for his stint as a Tea-Party-esque supporter. The character was also known for his catchphrase, “We The People.” The WWE released Hager in March.

A date for Hager’s Bellator debut, which will also be his MMA debut, has not yet been announced. Potential opponents are also still being determined.

“I’m excited to see Jake Hager debut for Bellator in 2018,” Bellator President Scott Coker told MMAJunkie. “When I heard he was seriously interested in competing in MMA, and when you look at what he did at the collegiate level, I was very interested in having him on our roster. I think Jake will expose new fans to Bellator from his previous run with WWE and he will be given every opportunity to prove that he’s the real deal inside the cage.”

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