Jake Hager puts timeline on fighting top heavyweights ahead of Bellator 250


UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Fans may see Jake Hager testing the waters with some of the bigger names in Bellator next year.

The pro wrestling star turned MMA fighter feels he’s not too far from taking on some of the more established names in the Bellator heavyweight division. Hager (2-0 MMA, 2-0 BMMA), a former WWE champion and current AEW wrestler, believes if all goes well on in his third career fight on Thursday against Brandon Calton (2-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 250, he could experience a jump in competition in the near future.

“I think I’m different from other fighters,” Hager told MMA Junkie on Tuesday. “I’m excelling faster and I can get to a certain point without having the experience in there. That being said, I think I’m six months to a year away from really stepping in there with some of the best in Bellator.

“I’ll be the first to say that, and I don’t mind it. In MMA, if you go against a big opponent or a big name and you lose, you’re not really losing because you lost to a big opponent. Right now I’m not focusing on going forward, but I will fight in 2021. I think that’s the soonest you’ll see me fight.”

Time will tell if Hager’s progression in the fight game will be enough in the future to get him bouts with the top fighters of his division. For now, the 38-year-old is excited to show the MMA world his continued evolution when he meets Calton in their preliminary card bout at Bellator 250, which takes place at Mohegan Sun and streams on MMA Junkie prior to the main card on CBS Sports Network.

“I cant wait to go out there and show the world what I’ve been working on,” Hager said. “If my striking and my kick boxing have got better, you already know that my jiu-jitsu and ground game has got better because that’s what I’m really good at. So we really focused on the areas that we need to improve and that’s going to show.”

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