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Former WWE wrestler Jack Swagger signs with Bellator MMA

Another pro wrestler is trying their hand at mixed martial arts.

While appearing on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani this afternoon, Jack Swagger (real name Jake Hager) announced that he's signed with Bellator MMA and will be debuting as a heavyweight in 2018. Swagger said he's wanted to do MMA for a long time and had been negotiating with Bellator since the summer, finalizing terms with them over the weekend.

When asked how the news would affect his pro wrestling schedule, Swagger said he wants to continue wrestling in addition to his new career in MMA. Swagger has been working on the independent scene since departing WWE earlier this year.

Swagger noted on an episode of Chael Sonnen's Beyond the Fight podcast in March that he had requested his release from WWE due to a lack of opportunities and being far apart in contract negotiations. He told Sonnen that it would be difficult to decline a good offer to try out MMA if he got one.

Before starting with WWE in 2006, Swagger was a standout amateur wrestler at the University of Oklahoma.