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Scott Coker ‘really impressed’ after Jake Hager’s win in Bellator 250 ‘dogfight’

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Bellator president Scott Coker learned a lot about Jake Hager through his Bellator 250 performance on Thursday.

Hager (3-0 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) took more damage than he’s ever encountered in his short career, but still came out on top. On Coker’s mental report card, Hager received a good grade by gutting out a split decision victory over former Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad player Brandon Calton (2-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in the heavyweight matchup, which took place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

“I was actually impressed – and I’ll tell you why: He doesn’t need to do this,” Coker told reporters, including MMA Junkie, post-fight at Bellator 250. “Jake Hager does not need to be an MMA fighter fighting in the cage. This is something he wants to do. He’s still relatively young in his career, right? Because he’s only had, what? Two or three fights? Something like that. To me, I’d give him a lot of respect. He was in a fight tonight. He had to get that dog out in him and finish this fight and keep fighting because he was caught.”

Hager, 38, has only had four MMA fights – and has gone 3-0 with a no contest. When Coker said he “doesn’t need to do this,” he’s referring to the fact Hager has a second career a pro wrestler. The former WWE superstar is now a standout for the budding AEW organization.

In Coker’s eyes, critics should take the Hager’s MMA inexperience into consideration before they give a harsh review of Hager’s competitive fight.

“He got cut up pretty bad,” Coker said. “I think he has an eye injury. He was in a fight. He was in a dogfight today. All of those people out there giving him a bad time, look, for a guy with that kind of experience, we saw what he was made of tonight. I was really impressed. I would give him a good report card for his effort and his performance. I would say to people, ‘Don’t be so tough.’ This guy is just a beginner. He’s only had a few fights.”

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