It was back in 2009 when Jon ‘Bones’ Jones, MMA bad boy and two-time UFC Light Heavyweight champ, first began training with Mike Winklejohn at Jackson Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As of today, that professional relationship is officially over.
After Jones was arrested on charges of domestic violence in September, Winklejohn decided that Jones was no longer welcome at Jackson Wink. It was a tough thing for Winklejohn to do after such a long, successful relationship, but it was the right thing. Winklejohn spoke to The MMA Hour about the decision.
“This is a tough one. There’s definitely no doubt about it. It’s one of the toughest ones. It broke my heart that I was even put in that position where I felt I had to do it. But it’s OK. It’s OK. What’s important to me might not be what’s important to others. I will stick by my guns and stay true to the guy that I want to be.”
The 34-year-old Jones was picked up by police on September 24 after an altercation with fiancée Jessie Moses at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. The horrific assault was alleged to have occurred in front of the couple’s three children.
Winklejohn described his relationship with Jones as familial. He described the conversation he had with the former champ. The transcript is heartbreaking to read, revealing a man who trusted his partner like a brother but was continually betrayed by Jones’ personal demons.
“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 in the gym because I feel I had to do that. Ignoring it and expecting different results is insanity.”
Jones posted a Tweet today acknowledging the ban. It appears to have since been deleted.
“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. Sincere thank you to the rest of the coaches for staying in the fight with me. Our journey continues.”
We will continue monitoring this story here at Thirsty. There could be a lot more to unpack as this situation continues.
Do you think Jon Jones can ever redeem his MMA career? Share your thoughts in the comments!