Troubled UFC star Jon Jones has been temporarily banned from his long-time training at JacksonWink MMA in Alberquerque, New Mexico.
That’s the word according to the gym’s co-founder Mike Winkeljohn, who stated yesterday that it was his decision to implement the ban in response to Jones recent arrest for domestic violence just hours after he was inducted into the UFC’s Hall Of Fame in Las Vegas.
“I just had a conversation with him, I said, ‘Jon, here’s the deal, man,” Winkeljohn recalled to Ariel Helwani on his MMA Hour show. “You’re like my little brother. You have to stop drinking and fix these things for a certain period of time until you can come back to the gym.’
“So at the moment, he’s out of the gym. He’s not allowed to come to the gym ‘cause I feel that… I don’t know, I feel I had to do that because ignoring it and expecting different results, as they say, is insanity. He’s got a lot of yes people around him that won’t tell him the truth.
“He might hate me for it, but I had to tell him the truth. But in my heart… Gosh, that guy is capable of greatness. And I’m not talking about just fighting. In my heart, I hope he comes back, wins the heavyweight title, stops drinking, goes forward. He goes on to bigger things.
“Oh my goodness, he’s capable… He’s so charismatic, he’s so dang smart, and he can sit down, break down fights and he can break down a lot of things in life. He’s capable of doing much bigger things than just this MMA world.”
Winkeljohn also stated that he felt compelled to take this hard-line stance to make it clear that this kind of behavior would not be tolerated.
“The hardest part was when you heard that his daughter had to call the police officer. It’s just tough ‘cause for my standing, it’s… I got three daughters. I have a wife, three daughters, mom… I teach women’s self-defense. It just makes it hard when he keeps getting in trouble.
Meanwhile, Jones has spoken out on social media denying that he hit his wife during their altercation in the Las Vegas hotel room, though he doesn’t explain how she was left bleeding from her nose and mouth.
“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.
“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.”