October 13, (THEWILL) – Following the recent arrest of former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, the owner of the Jackson Wink MMA, a professional MMA training facility located in Albuquerque, New Mexico has requested that Jones should not to return to the gym.
Mike Winkeljohn said on The MMA Hour on Wednesday that he had advised Jones not to return to the gym unless he took certain steps to clean up his life after yet another arrest.
“This is a tough one,” Winklejohn said. “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 worked together for years, including throughout many of Jones’ title defences. Jones had been in problems with the law before, but his most recent arrest in September, which included troubling accusations suggesting Jones abused his wife, was the final straw.
“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 did not specify what Jones would have to do to be able to return to the gym. Instead, he said: “I’m hoping after a certain period of time he wants to come back to the gym, he does it.
“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.”