Bellator 214 is in the books and only one of the five fights went the distance. All of the other bouts were done in no more than 129 seconds.
It turns out that Hager can fight, a lot more so than former WWE turned MMA fighter Phil Brooks (CM Punk). Throughout the bout Hager showed a solid foundation with a real grasp on the fundamentals of the fight world.
The fight came to an end after Kiser found himself in the head-and-arm choke with 2:09 remaining in the first round.
As we all expected Hager used his wrestling background to expertly dispose of Kiser. From the get-go the former WWE star jumped straight into the clinch and attempted an arm-bar from the initial takedown before using his elbows to devastating effect – in turn Hager moved in for the choke as Kizer was trying to fight off the elbows.
“It was a matter of keeping my posture and then it was just a matter of time before I put it on him,’ Hager said.
Hager’s wrestling background may surprise many. The 6’5 grappler is a former All-American wrestler out of the University of Oklahoma. As a two-sport athlete Hager was the second-string defensive tackle behind eventual National Football League players Tommie Harris and Dusty Dvoracek.
He stopped playing football and concentrated fully on wrestling his sophomore year.
During his junior year, he was introduced to Jim Ross, who was World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)’s Head of Talent Relations at the time, through former OU defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek, Hager’s close friend and college roommate. Ross encouraged Hager to contact him after graduating to see about a career in professional wrestling.
At the 2005 NCAA Division I championships, he lost to University of Pennsylvania’s Matt Feast in the second round, and did not place.
As a senior in 2006, Hager had a seventh-place finish in the NCAA championships and also defeated the future national champion, Dustin Fox from Northwestern University.
Hager was named an All-American at season’s end while setting the Oklahoma record for most pins in a single season with 30.
Bader Bosses Bellator in 30-second knockout
Ryan Bader is the first fighter to hold two Bellator world titles simultaneously.
In the main event of Bellator 214 at the Forum in Inglewood, California, Bader scored an emphatic first-round KO to defeat the legendary Fedor Emelianenko to win the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix and the Bellator Heavyweight title.
Bader came in as the reigning light heavyweight champion and he now adds more gold to his trophy case. A lead left hook on Emelianenko’s jaw was the weapon of destruction. It landed during the first exchange and Emelianenko went to the canvas like a ton of bricks. Bader followed up with a hard right hand to the downed legend and the referee stopped the bout.
Bellator 214 Results:
|Heavyweight||Ryan Bader||def.||Fedor Emelianenko||KO (punches)||1||0:35|
|Featherweight||Henry Corrales||def.||Aaron Pico||KO (punches)||1||1:07|
|Heavyweight||Jake Hager||def.||J.W. Kiser||Submission (arm triangle choke)||1||2:09|
|Bantamweight||Juan Archuleta||def.||Ricky Bandejas||Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)||3||5:00|
|Featherweight||Adel Altamimi||def.||Brandon McMahan||Submission (armbar)||1||1:16|
- Thor Skancke def. Jesse Merritt via submission (north-south choke) – Round 1, 4:26
- Jesse Roberts def. A.J. Agazarm via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Weber Almeida def. Odan Chinchilla via TKO (punch) – Round 1, 3:04
- Art Rivas def. Sean Johnson via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:30
- Jay Jay Wilson def. Tyler Beneke via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:31
- Ryan Lilley def. James Barnes via knockout (head kick) – Round 1, 1:30
- Craig Plaskett def. Ian Butler via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Desmond Torres def. Steve Ramirez via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:21