Famed Jackson-Winkeljohn striking coach Mike Winkeljohn was a guest on Ariel Helwani’s “The MMA Hour” podcast on Monday and spoke on a number of topics including UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ recent out-of-competition failed drug test for cocaine leading up to his UFC 182 bout with Daniel Cormier. Jones trains at the Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA academy in Albuquerque, N.M.
Coach Wink’s words:
“It’s disappointing. There’s no doubt about it. Disappointing that he would be partying before a fight. With that being said, I don’t think it helped him in the fight. It probably hurt him in the fight. Cause if he’s partying, it’s taking away from his focus, he’s not rehabbing the way he should, etc. The thing about it is, it’s out there, he did it, we’ve got to fix it, he’s got to overcome it and be better for it. I’m kind of like the older uncle that yells at him all the time. But with that being said, I also believe in Jon Jones. I believe in his legacy. He’s a young kid with everything thrown to him and it’s a tough situation. Almost every other athlete that’s been put in that situation in some way has crashed and burned. Honestly I would have thought long ago, if you would have asked me five years ago, gosh, [I thought] John would have fallen off a cliff just because of the influence from all these idiots that hang out with him. I thought he would fall off the cliff, but John has good balance. Apparently he stood on the edge of the cliff but he didn’t fall off. So now he’s getting back on the path.”
Winkeljohn doesn’t think Jones actually has a cocaine addiction, but likes to party and is surrounding himself with some questionable types.
“No, he doesn’t have a problem. He parties, in my opinion, that’s what it is. It’s definitely not an addict type thing at all. I think he just sometimes finds himself hanging out with idiots. … So, not only does he hang out with idiots, but he acts like an idiot sometimes and if he keeps doing it he will become an idiot himself.”
Coach Wink admitted his concern that Jones could potentially cut his legacy short and has had that conversation with the champ, but currently believes Jones has the partying under control and is expecting a great fight in May when he defends his title against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.