The history of former WWE stars transitioning to MMA is mixed. Brock Lesnar became one of the most must-see stars the sport has ever seen. CM Punk? Not so much.
Jack Swagger's MMA career is off to a much different kind of start.
Swagger, whose real name is Jake Hager, submitted T.J. Jones in the first round of their matchup at Bellator 221 on Sunday. Hager is 2-0 since signing with the promotion, with both of his victories coming via first-round submission.
While he's one of the more notable faces in Bellator, Hager rankled some fans for his late release of the arm triangle he won with. The crowd booed Hager after the fight, but he did not seem particularly bothered.
“I meant no disrespect, but you’re going to have to make me stop. I thought the referee was him," Hager said, per Matt Erickson of MMA Junkie. "You all can boo me all you want, but you’re not in here right now. … I knew once I got on top, he’s not getting up.”
Hager was released by WWE in March 2017 after spending more than a decade with the company. He won the World Heavyweight Championship, United States Championship and ECW Championship during his tenure.
At age 37, Hager isn't likely to have a lengthy career in MMA. But it's clear his amateur wrestling background is paying massive dividends through two fights.