Bellator 221: Jack Swagger’s Second Fight to Come Against T.J. Jones

Jake Hager (Jack Swagger) and J.W. Kiser ahead of Bellator 214
Jake Hager (Jack Swagger) and J.W. Kiser Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Jack Swagger’s next opponent has been named, as T.J. Jones will face the WWE star at Bellator 221.

While they’re happy to see Jake Hager (a.k.a. former WWE champion Jack Swagger) get some experience under his belt, Bellator are in no rush to throw him to the wolves. On Wednesday, Swagger’s previously announced fight at Bellator 221 had an opponent named: T.J. Jones. While top prospect Tyrell Fortune had called for a fight against Swagger, it seems Bellator is in favor of developing him slowly. MMA Fighting was first to announce the news.

Not a bad call, really. Swagger showed some solid fundamentals against J.W. Kiser at Bellator 214, but he remains a 1-0 pro getting a late start in MMA. However, his collegiate wrestling base could carry him far, and against Kiser, he displayed decent knowledge of the submission game.

Hager will turn 37 prior to Bellator 221, which takes place in Chicago on May 11. Jones (1-1), 28, will be making his first appearance since 2017 against the pro wrestling star. That was a win against Erick Braly at RCWC: Halloween Brawl On Boot Hill. Jones sealed the deal with an Americana in just under a minute.

Bellator 221 is headlined by a lightweight championship super-fight between Michael Chandler and featherweight champ Patricio Pitbull. With the pair feuding for years, fireworks are to be expected. Also on the card, the welterweight grand prix semifinal between Michael Page and ex-champ Douglas Lima.