There is an ongoing rift between Donald Cerrone and Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA. After “Cowboy” spilled some information of how things are running at the famed Albuquerque gym from his perspective, Mike Winkeljohn responded by stating how he is “happier” that the “narcissistic” Cerrone is no longer training with the team.
Different opinions have been formulated about the issue, with people taking sides. Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, for one, is on Team Cowboy.
“I feel like we’ve heard this story about this camp before when it was Rashad Evans and him feeling like he was pushed out of the spot with Jon Jones coming in,” Tate said on MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Fight Nation (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“What I think is not cool, if it had been someone that had been training there like Carlos Condit or someone like that who had been training there a long time and they were gonna fight each other and both had that mutual respect, and mutual foundation at that gym, that’s different.
“But when the new guy is coming in and he’s like, ‘I wanna fight Cowboy’ and he comes to Cowboy’s gym, I think that the right thing to do by the gym – I think there’s some loyalty that should be towards Cowboy. He’s been there a really, really long time,” she added.
Tate says she also understands Cerrone’s frustration about the coaching staff’s decision to train Mike Perry, whom he will be facing on November 10th in Denver.
“‘This is probably not the camp for you to come in, Mike, because you’re fighting our boy. Cowboy has been with us forever. We’d love for you to come in for the next camp but Cowboy’s our dude.’ That’s how I think,” Tate said.
“Even though I know Cowboy doesn’t drive there every single day, he doesn’t train at the gym – there are some other reasons I think behind that, I think – that’s just me. That’s how I hope my gym would operate if I was under those circumstances.”
Cerrone specifically described Jackson-Wink as a “puppy mill” when Winkeljohn merged over in 2007. According to him, anyone is able to randomly come into the gym and spar with big-named professionals, which was not a practice back in its early days.