Report: Jon Jones has his next fight, and it's not in the UFC

·2 min read

It appears Jon Jones has his first fight in 21 months lined up.

The former UFC light heavyweight champion announced via Twitter on Saturday that he will face AEW wrestler and Bellator heavyweight Jake Hager, a.k.a. Jack Swagger, in a Fury Professional Grappling match on Dec. 9 in New Jersey.

That announcement was disputed, however, by Hager himself, who admonished Jones for using his old promotion and nickname and claiming no terms had even been discussed between the two sides.

While that makes it sound like Jones jumped the gun in announcing the fight, a Fury official reportedly told MMA Fighting that the fight has indeed been booked, it just hasn't been made official.

If the fight is indeed happening, it will be the first time Jones has walked into any kind of official ring since Feb. 8, 2020, when he defeated Dominick Reyes for his final UFC light heavyweight defense. The idea was Jones would move up to heavyweight and face the UFC champion, first Stipe Miocic then Francis Ngannou, but a financial standoff ensued instead.

Jones has since been arrested for battery domestic violence for an incident in September.

Ngannou is now slated to face interim champion Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 on Jan. 22, while Jones is apparently pursuing opportunities outside of the MMA promotion for which he's fought over the last 13 years. Formerly a junior college champion wrestler, Jones will face a fellow college wrestler in Hager, who used to star with the WWE before moving to AEW. In four fights with Bellator, Hager is 3-0-1.

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