Coach: Jones not allowed at longtime gym after recent arrest
Jon Jones has been barred from training at his longtime gym, Jackson Wink MMA, in wake of his September arrest, coach Mike Winkeljohn told Ariel Helwani on "The MMA Hour" Wednesday.
"He's not allowed to come into the gym," Winkeljohn said. "I feel I had to do that, because ignoring it and expecting different results, as they say, is insanity."
Jones, a former UFC light heavyweight champion, was arrested Sept. 24 in Las Vegas and charged with misdemeanor battery domestic violence and injuring or tampering with a vehicle.
He's faced numerous legal issues in the past, including a March 2020 arrest for DWI and a hit-and-run incident in April 2015.
Jackson Wink MMA coaches Greg Jackson and Brandon Gibson will continue training Jones outside the gym "as long as he keeps his commitment to a healthy and positive lifestyle," a gym spokesperson wrote in a statement to ESPN's Marc Raimondi.
Jones reacted to the news of his suspension in a since-deleted tweet Wednesday afternoon, writing that most of the Jackson Wink MMA coaches were "staying in the fight" with him.
Winkeljohn said he's disappointed in Jones and told him during a recent conversation he needed to stop drinking alcohol.
Winkeljohn said he felt the need to tell Jones the truth about his personal issues, because "he's got a lot of yes people around him that won't tell him the truth."
Jones' ban from Jackson Wink MMA doesn't appear to be permanent, though Winkeljohn didn't specify when the 34-year-old will be allowed to train there again.
"I'm hoping after a certain period of time, he wants to come back to the gym and does it," Winkeljohn said. "But 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 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 the guys in my gym and for people as a whole."
Winkeljohn said Jones was disappointed when he found out he wouldn't be able to train at the Albuquerque, New Mexico-based gym, and that the fighter "was hoping we could talk it out." But Winkeljohn was hesitant because "we've done that before."
"Look, I'm all about forgiveness, but let's go forward, let's fix these things," he said. "I know he can. I'm optimistic he can do that."