Mike Winkeljohn is one of the main coaches for UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, working with “Bones” on a near-daily basis in New Mexico.
So, when the results of a December drug test came back positive for cocaine, Winkeljohn was “surprised.”
“I know they had drug tested him,” said Winkeljohn, during a recent appearance on Submission Radio. “I didn’t know anything had come up. I was unaware of it and we’re disappointed.
“But, at the same time, we’re glad that Jon is taking the steps necessary to solve this problem. And he’s young. Everybody’s made mistakes. I’ll give him a hard time when we talk about it next again, but we’re still standing behind Jon, and we like to have him around.
“He’s got a great heart, he treats his teammates well, he treats his coaches well, he treats his family well. It just sucks that (it) happened. It’s sad to see him put himself in that position, but I think the future’s bright for Jon. He will learn from it and go forward.”
Despite the drug results coming in positive, Jones was still allowed to fight Daniel Cormier earlier this month. He earned a decision victory, and vowed to be back into training quickly after the contest.
Instead, just a few days later, it was announced that he had entered into a drug rehab program. No timetable has been set for Jones’ return to MMA.
When he does step back inside the Octagon, Jones is expected to meet the winner of Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Johnson. Winkeljohn isn’t sure what could be left for him after that fight at 205 pounds, but he isn’t so sure of a move to heavyweight, either.
“There’s no one jumping out at me right now that I think is gonna be able to rise to the occasion and take Jon out,” he said. “I don’t see (a move to heavyweight) happening soon. I think he needs to clean out the division.”