Jon Jones has had some trouble when it comes to showing up for fights with Daniel Cormier, but his coach feels confident the former UFC LHW champ has put his distractions behind him.
Over the years Jon Jones’ fights have had a nasty habit of falling apart. Going all the way back to UFC 133 and his scheduled bout with Rashad Evans, to UFC 151 and the Dan Henderson fiasco, to UFC 178 and his first scheduled fight with Daniel Cormier. And then, of course, there’s everything that’s happened since.
Following his UFC 182 win over Daniel Cormier in 2015, Jon Jones has only made one appearance in the Octagon. A lackluster decision over Ovince St. Preux (for a fight that was supposed to be against Daniel Cormier. A failed drug test and a hit and run accident have scuppered his career in the meantime.
So, with UFC 214 approaching this summer (yet another planned fight with Cormier), it’s fair to wonder if Jones is going to make it to the card. But, if fans are concerned, Mike Winkeljohn isn’t. In a recent interview with Sub Radio, coach Wink made it clear that he has no worries about Jones showing up.
“Nah, he won’t exit,” Winkeljohn said. “No, Jon’s getting his title back – well, the title he never lost. Yeah, he’s walking out back being the champ of the world again.”
“Well, Jon talks a lot,” he continued when asked about Jones’ boasts that he beat DC after a weekend of cocaine, “so because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s true. And it’s kind of like, oh it’s on the internet, it’s true. Or, so and so he said something so it’s true. Or a motion that Donald Trump tweets, they think is true versus wanting to do the best thing. So you know, it is what it is. Jon in the past did party a lot, there is absolutely no doubt about that. But he’s focused on his training in a big way in this fight and I know he’s tested a whole bunch. So he’s clean as anybody in the sport is and he’s going to go out there and dominate this fight.”
He also gave his prediction that Jones will finish Cormier this time around and be ready to face either Gustafsson or Manuwa as the next title challenger. He gave his thoughts about the GDR/Cyborg situation, saying Cyborg is “chemically changed and some things just aren’t fair on the table.” Although he added that he believed De Randamie could,m “actually start picking Cris Cyborg apart” after the first round if they ever did fight.
What’s more, Winkeljohn breathed a bit of life into the idea that we may see Holly Holm fight Cyborg some time down the road.
“I see a situation where I’d rather wait that time period and build it,” Winkeljohn said of the potential of Holm fighting Cyborg after a year of passing drug tests. “It’s gonna be a money fight. That’s it. Holly will fight for the money fight. She doesn’t have that many fights left in her career, and Holly’s got numbers, she’s got followers. People have a tendency to really like Holly cause she’s that person, she’s a good role model for ladies. She’s that thing that like I said before, that mums don’t mind their kids growing up to be like her or admiring because she’s a good kid, she’s got good values, that kind of thing. And because of that she’s got fantastic followers, she’s one of the highest in the UFC. Even with three losses I think she’s probably, you know, you got Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and Holly Holm. I mean, that’s it as far as people that are looked up on the internet every day and watched. That’s incredible. So there’s some money that needs to be paid to Holly Holm for the big fights.”
Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier is expected to headline UFC 214 in Anaheim California on July 29th. The card is also expected to feature Jimi Manuwa vs. Volkan Oezdemir in a battle of top light heavyweight contenders.