AEW News

Josh Barnett To Jake Hager: “You’re A Green Boy Who Fights Rookies”

Josh Barnett and Jake Hager

Josh Barnett didn’t hold back when discussing Jake Hager’s career in Bellator, accusing the AEW star of facing MMA rookies and lacking experience inside the octagon!

Appearing on the latest episode of MMA Fighting’s What The Heck podcast, Hager laid out why he deserves to be Fedor Emelianenko’s opponent for his next fight on October 23rd in Moscow – with the likes of Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos and Josh Barnett being considered – arguing that his name value could carry him to the fight in lieu of matching Emelianenko’s experience (transcription via MMA Fighting).

“Just because I have a shorter career doesn’t mean I’m not as worthy,” he said. “I have a bigger following, I have more excitement behind me, and I have a brighter future than all of those guys. So give it to me [Bellator President] Scott [Coker], because I’m the one that you’re going to build this company on, not those guys that are just coming in for a one-and-done. I’m here for the next 10 years. Let’s go.”

“I really honestly believe that this is my fight, it’s been my fight since I came to Bellator. […] Who else do you want to see him fight in the top-10. Tyrell Fortune? Give me a break.”

Hager later took to Twitter to reiterate his point, drawing the ire of ‘The Warmaster’ who told the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion to focus on AEW before he ‘eventually loses and quits MMA’.

No, it’s not. Having more followers doesn’t mean anything in terms of merit or skill in the ring. You’re a green boy who fights rookies. You don’t even belong in the conversation. Stick to AEW & getting in a few fights before you eventually lose & then quit.”

Hager returned with his own sharp tweet, referencing Barnett’s issues in the past with banned substance violations – the most notable of which led to him being stripped of the UFC Heavyweight title nearly two decades ago.

“I’ll put asses in the seats while you put needles in your a**. Pass a drug test BOY and watch me get this fight”

Barnett responded in kind, questioning the 39-year-old’s fighting abilities after his fight with Anthony Garrett that ended in a no-contest after being hit with two illegal knees to the groin at Bellator 231.

“What’s the point of Fedor beating up a 3 fight scrub? I suggest you start putting needles in your a** so that you might show some real talent in the cage. May even give you enough fortitude to not b***h out from a nut shot while you’re wearing a cup.”

Jake Hager currently holds an MMA record of 3-0, having picked up wins two submission victories in the first round and a decision win in his last fight in October last year. His MMA experience has also translated to the world of wrestling, defeating Wardlow in AEW’s first-ever MMA Rules match via referee’s decision in the second round.