UFC star Jon Jones claims he is making his eagerly-anticipated return against Jake Hager in December before deleting his tweet… as the Bellator fighter insists ‘no contract has been signed’
- Jon Jones has not fought professionally since February 2020 as he seeks return
- The UFC fighter is plotting a heavyweight takeover but may wait until 2022
- He said he was competing in a grappling fight to keep him busy next month
Jon Jones announced his highly-anticipated return after revealing he was set to take part in a grappling match next month – but quickly deleted his post when his Bellator opponent claimed terms had not yet been agreed.
‘Bones’ has not fought professionally since February 2020 after defeating Dominick Reyes – vacating his light-heavyweight title to pursue a heavyweight challenge. Jones has courted controversy this year after being arrested in Las Vegas in September for alleged domestic violence and tampering with a vehicle.
The incident also saw him kicked out of his gym, and now Jones is attempting to get back to fighting, revealing he would take on Jake Hager at All Elite Wrestling on December 9.
Jon Jones announced his return against Bellator star Jake Hager before deleting the post
He told followers he would take on the fighter – known as Jack Swagger – in a grappling match
But Hager – whose nickname is Jack Swagger – has refuted his claims, saying no terms have yet been discussed.
‘Breaking News!! I’m excited to announce I’ll be competing for the number one grappling organization in the world, Fury Grappling!’ he wrote on Twitter.
‘December 9th I’ll be in New Jersey competing against WWE superstar and undefeated Bellator heavyweight Jack Swagger.’
And Hager responded bluntly, correcting him on his mistake over the competition and his own name, telling Jones there was no contract finalised but said he would consider a fight if the ‘terms are right’.
Jones has attracted controversy after his arrest on alleged domestic violence charges
‘First of all it’s @AEWonTNT and undefeated @BellatorMMA heavyweight Jake Hager, secondly no terms have been discussed or contract signed. We can talk if terms are right.’
Jones then swiftly deleted the tweet after appearing to jump the gun on the announcement.
He is looking to resume his career but was dealt a setback last month after a ‘heartbreaking’ conversation with long-time coach Mike Winkeljohn – who banned him from his gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico – telling the fighter to get his act together.
‘I’m very disappointed. It’s tough,’ Winkeljohn told the MMA Hour. ‘The hardest part was when you hear that his daughter says you have to call the police officers.
Jackson-Wink MMA chief Mike Winkeljohn (L) banned Jones (2L) from his gym until he gets his act together following his arrest in September
‘It’s tough from my standing, I’ve got three daughters. I have a wife and three daughters, I teach women’s self-defense called Smart Girls self-defense. It just makes it hard when he keeps getting in trouble.
‘But I just had a conversation with him. I said, ‘Jon, here’s the deal man. You’re like my little brother. You have to stop drinking and fix these things for a certain period of time until you come back to the gym.’
‘So at the moment, he’s out of the gym. He’s not allowed to come into the gym. I felt like I had to do that because ignoring it and expecting different results, as they say, is insanity.’
Jones – who hopes to return to UFC in 2022 – revealed his anguish over the decision to his followers, writing: ‘Had a heartbreaking conversation over the phone with one of my longtime coaches last night, really hurts to lose the support of someone I respect so much,’ he said.
The 34-year-old confirmed that he had a ‘heartbreaking conversation’ with Winkeljohn
‘Sincere thank you to the rest of the coaches for staying in the fight with me. Our journey continues..’
On Sunday Jones revealed he was 60 days sober since his arrest and promised to turn a corner.
‘”Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”. My family, my life, my career could’ve been over after what happened in Las Vegas. But God had other plans for me. 60 days sober and counting.’