Monday, October 3, 2022

Jon Jones Makes Open Challenge For Grappling Match After Hager Hiccup

Jon Jones is eager to compete again as he prepares for his UFC return, and he’s seeking a grappling challenge to help him pass the time.

Over the weekend, Jones announced that he would be competing against Bellator Heavyweight Jake Hager in a professional grappling match hosted by FURY Pro Grappling. He dropped “breaking news” that he’ll be competing for the grappling organization on December 9th.

As you may have noticed, Jones deleted the tweet making the announcement. That is because it appears that Jones may have jumped the gun by going public with the news. Hager disputed Jones’s claim and clarified that he’s with AEW these days, no longer WWE.

“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.”

Jon Jones Makes Open Challenge For Grappling Match

After Jones acknowledged Hager’s non-commitment in a pair of deleted tweets, he then set his sights elsewhere—and anywhere—for a more compliant opponent.

“Which one of you big boys out there trying to get choked out?” Jones tweeted in an apparent open challenge.

Jones vs. Hager Would Make For Intriguing Grappling Match

Jon Jones Jake Hager
Jon Jones, Jake Hager

Jon Jones and Jake Hager both have collegiate wrestling backgrounds. Jones was a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), an All-American and National Champion (2006). That same year, Hager was an NCAA All-American out of the University of Oklahoma, even setting the single-season record for most pins in the 285 lbs. weight class.

Jones competed in a grappling event in 2016 against the legendary Dan Henderson. Jones won that contest via arm-triangle choke. If this contest does become official, it will be Hager’s first time competing in a professional grappling event.

Jon Jones has not competed in MMA since February of 2020 in a victory over Dominick Reyes. He is expected to make his heavyweight debut in the first quarter of 2022.

Meanwhile, Jake Hager competes in Bellator’s heavyweight division. Most recently, he defeated Brandon Calton via split decision to improve his pro MMA record to 3-0. He also wrestles for All Elite Wrestling as a member of Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle faction.

MMA News will keep you updated if this grappling match comes back to life or if someone else accepts Jones’s open challenge!

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