On Wednesday, Jackson-Wink MMA coach Mike Winkeljohn revealed that former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champ Jon Jones is no longer part of the team. The decision came after Jones was arrested for battery domestic violence in September while in Las Vegas to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame for his epic fight with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165. Jones was arrested on Sept. 24 after he allegedly assaulted his fiancée. He was released 12 hours after his arrest and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 26. It was just the latest addition to Jones’ police record, which includes several DWI offenses, and it seems that it was more than Winklejohn could take, as the coach asked his former protégé to stay away from the gym until he addresses his alcohol problem.
“I have a wife and three daughters, I teach women’s self-defense called Smart Girls self-defense,” Winkeljohn said on The MMA Hour. “It just makes it hard when he keeps getting in trouble. 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 gym.’ So at the moment, he's out of the gym. He’s not allowed to come to the gym because I feel I had to do that. Ignoring it and expecting different results, as they say, is insanity.”
Winkeljohn also lamented that Jones has too many “yes men” surrounding him who influence his life negatively. He stated his belief that “Bones” has the strength to get out of the sticky situation, but that for now, it's better to keep some distance between him and the rest of the Jackson-Wink MMA team.
Jones took to his socials to share his version of the story. His first message, subsequently deleted, contained words of gratitude and a promise that his journey would continue.
“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,” states a capture of Jones’ post, archived on Reddit. “Sincere thank you to the rest of the coaches for staying in the fight with me. Our journey continues…” In another pair of tweets, Jones then claimed that he had never assaulted his fiancée and stated that he’s ready to quit alcohol for real.
“I love how people are imagining the worst possible situation in their heads and making it somehow factual,” Jones wrote. “I never hit my fiancée and our daughters were woken up after our confrontation. My daughters didn’t see or hear us arguing. That’s really the only thing I care to clarify.. outside of that, looking forward to moving forward without alcohol. It’s the first time in my life where I’m actually ready to quit. Glad to have the support of my fiancée, family friends and fans”
I love how people are imagining the worst possible situation in their heads and making it somehow factual. I never hit my fiancé and our daughters were woken up after our confrontation. My daughters didn’t see or hear us arguing.— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 13, 2021
That’s really the only thing I care to clarify.. outside of that, looking forward to moving forward without alcohol. It’s the first time in my life where I’m actually ready to quit. Glad to have the support of my fiancé, family friends and fans— BONY (@JonnyBones) October 13, 2021
The last time he stepped into the Octagon, Jones took a unanimous decision from Dominick Reyes in the UFC 247 headliner, winning his 14th title fight at 205 pounds. Shortly afterward, he relinquished the light heavyweight belt to move up to heavyweight, but hasn't competed since.