According to Jon Jones’ coach, Mike Winkeljohn, the UFC light heavyweight champion injured his arm just days before his fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 last month.
Jon Jones picked up the most important — and perhaps most impressive — win of his career at UFC 214, but he may not have even been 100-percent healthy going in. Mike Winkeljohn, one of the head coaches at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA, revealed Thursday on Submission Radio that the current light heavyweight champion injured his arm while preparing for his long-awaited rematch with Daniel Cormier during fight week.
“A couple of nights before the fight, he couldn’t lift his arm. He had hurt it wrestling,” Winkeljohn said. “He wrestled a little too hard with his partner and maybe from a lack of warm up — I’m not sure — but it was kind scary.
“He just couldn’t lift it basically over his head and stuff. Of course, it’s definitely concerning. You know, in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Are you going to be able to underhook with that arm? Or if not, you have to use a lot more frames and more downward pressure and circle the opposite direction, so (the) gameplan might have to be changed a little bit if it doesn’t get healed.’”
When Jones and his team realized he had suffered some sort of injury, they all agreed to train lightly in areas where ‘Bones’ may have been able to hurt his arm even more.
“It was one of those situations where when I was warming him up, I’d ask the coaches and they had agreed — they were ahead of me on this — that we shouldn’t be doing a lot wrestling because I didn’t want Jon to try and have to underhook and lift with his one arm, because it could potentially cause it to be hurt again and mess with his mindset,” Winkeljohn said. “I wanted to keep that out of it and hopefully so that way if it got re-injured in the fight, the adrenaline would take over.”
Presumably to avoid the Cormier title fight being cancelled yet again, Jones and his team did not inform anyone — including the UFC brass — that Jones had hurt his arm and planned to fight through the injury.
“He didn’t say anything about it,” Winkeljohn said. “Let me put it that way: no matter what — how much it hurt, whether it was tingling or felt weak — Jon didn’t say anything; he just went and fought. And that’s why Jon Jones is a champion, he has that mindset.
“It was kind of scary that nobody knew about it. There was an injury behind the scenes, but Jon is who he is, he’s as tough as they come and like I said, nobody beats Jon Jones but himself. Once he decides he wants to win a fight, he’s going to win.”
Jones defeated bitter rival Daniel Cormier for the second time in Anaheim, California on July 29, this time by third-round TKO. Since the fight, Jones has had his eye on former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar, but it seems more likely he will defend his title against Alexander Gustafsson (for the second time) next.