The man behind Jackson Wink MMA has asked former light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, not to return to the gym following his most recent arrest.
Mike Winkeljohn spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour on Wednesday and revealed he’d asked Jones not to return to the gym until he took certain steps to clean up his life following yet another arrest.
“This is a tough one,” Winklejohn said (h/t MMA Junkie). “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.”
Jones and Winklejohn have been side-by-side for many years and through many of Jones’ title defenses. Jones has been in trouble with the law multiple times in the past but his most recent September arrest involving disturbing details alleging Jones assaulted his wife was the final tipping point.
“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.”
Winklejohn didn’t reveal exactly what Jones would need to do to return to the gym.
“I’m hoping after a certain period of time he wants to come back to the gym, he does it,” Winklejohn said. “Even if he doesn’t come back to the gym, I’m OK with it. In my own heart, I know that he might go on to win the heavyweight title. I’ll take myself out of a little bit of money. Whatever. That’s just not where my values are at right now. I just want to set the precedent for the rest of my guys in the gym and people as a whole. I’m all about forgiveness, but let’s go forward. Let’s fix these things. I know he can. I’m optimistic he can do that.”