Jake Hager on Preparing for Bellator Return and Working for Tony Khan

Giancarlo Aulino
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Bellator returns to the "FightSphere" at the Mohegan Sun Casino tonight for Bellator 250, which features the return of Jake Hager, who takes on former Pittsburgh Steeler Brandon Calton in the final prelim bout before the main card begins on CBS Sports. 

Hager is in a unique situation; he is an active wrestler on AEW: Dynamite!, where he travels and performs each week, so that eventually effects his training routine as well as his preparation leading up to the fight. 

During the Bellator 250 Virtual Media Day on Tuesday, I asked Hager on how he was able to adjust his training for his bout against Calton so that it does not confilict in any way with his responsibilities to AEW: 

We film twice a week with AEW every other week, so I have ten days off in between, that is usually the schedule until like bigger things come on, which there's nothing bigger than AEW and Bellator right now (laughs). So I really consider the filming days with AEW as my rest days and then once I'm home,I really like as soon as I'm home on a Thursday or a Friday, I already have practices scheduled and I'll go Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday-Tuesday, and then I'll fly out again Wednesday to go film.Its worked pretty well. AEW has definitely understood you know during those rest day that I'm really pushing it and really working hard and I think they have done a great job to help compliment their schedule with mine and allow me to get the time to work out even on those rest days a little bit and like a run, some kind of conditioning and it really has and will show in this fight. 


I also asked Hager on what the conversation was like with AEW President Tony Khan and how this opportunity might not have been possible when he worked for WWE: 

Well the number one difference is the schedule. AEW films weekly television shows, so it's about 60-70 dates a year with the pay-per-views, maybe a little bit less...maybe a little bit more. At WWE, we were running over 200 dates a year, so at times I'm only home 36 hours. It really is like a complete different schedule where even if I am able to train on those five days that I'm on the road, it's not the same...it's not consistent, I don't have a coach and some kind of like congruent plan going on. The conversation with Tony like any conversation is very easy, he's a great guy. I think his leadership really trickles down. He wants good people to work at AEW, so like talking to him is like sitting here talking with you guys (the media) right now, it's very casual. He's a very big sports guy. I think that's why you see so many wrestlers happy to be at AEW because he treats us like athletes and it really shows in our work that we're more than happy to show him how much we appreciate that. 


What are your thoughts on Jake Hager returning to MMA? Do you think is will get his hand rasied at Bellator 250? 



Photo Credit: Bellator MMA