Jon Jones has opened up on his heartache after being kicked out of his long-time gym following his latest arrest.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion, 34, has spent the duration of his MMA career finetuning his craft at Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, under the guidance of Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn.
However, Winkeljohn revealed on Wednesday that following Jones’ latest arrest for alleged domestic violence and tampering with a vehicle, he was left with no choice but to ban him from the gym until he gets his act together.
Jon Jones says ‘it really hurts’ after being kicked out of his long-time gym this week
And Jones has confirmed that he had a ‘heartbreaking’ conversation with his coach, and that it ‘really hurts’ to have been turned away from his trusted gym.
‘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,’ he said.
‘Sincere thank you to the rest of the coaches for staying in the fight with me. Our journey continues..’
Winkeljohn has been by Jones’ side throughout his career, where he has encountered trouble on multiple occasions, but told the MMA Hour that he had to take action following Jones’ latest arrest.
The 34-year-old confirmed that he had a ‘heartbreaking conversation’ with Winkeljohn
‘I’m very disappointed. It’s tough,’ he said. ‘The hardest part was when you hear that his daughter says you have to call the police officers.
‘It’s tough from my standing, I’ve got three daughters. I have a wife and three daughters, I teach women’s self-defense called Smart Girls self-defense. It just makes it hard when he keeps getting in trouble.
‘But 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 into the gym. I felt like I had to do that because ignoring it and expecting different results, as they say, is insanity.
The American has been out of action for 20 months and is looking to win the heavyweight title
‘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, God, that guy’s good for greatness. And I’m not just talking about fighting. In my heart, I hope Jones comes back and wins the heavyweight title, stops drinking, and goes forward, and goes onto bigger things.
‘Oh my goodness. He’s so charismatic and so damn smart and he can sit down and break down fights and he can sit down and break down a lot of things in life. He’s capable of doing much bigger things than just this MMA world. That’s where we are.’
Jones has not fought in the UFC since February 2020 and has spent the last 20 months bulking up for a move to the heavyweight division.