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Mike Winklejohn On Jon Jones-Stipe Miocic, Jones’ Future, Carlos Condit

Mike Winkeljohn, part of the famed Jackson-Wink MMA gym in New Mexico, was a guest on a recent edition of “Submission Radio.”

Winkeljohn, who works with Jon Jones, talked about “Bones,” Carlos Condit and Travis Browne during the interview:

On how hard it was dealing with Carlos Condit’s loss against Demian Maia

“It’s not tough for me because I’m not worried about the time and effort I put into it. In my mind, I’m upside down to Carlos Condit. He took me on a such great journey over his career so far, that putting time and effort into something is not a problem for me. My heart went out to Carlos. He’s trying to get back to the title and I think he got robbed (against Lawler) and he was so close with Georges, got robbed with Robbie and he’s got a family to feed, he’s got a future to go forward and he was all in. So my heart went out to Carlos. So for me, except what it did to Carlos, it doesn’t bug me the slightest putting in the time to help that young man.”

If that’s the last time we’ll see Condit fight

“I don’t know. Carlos just had a baby and so he’s doing the family thing and focused on what’s really important in life, and so I’m sure he’ll revisit it down the road. But right now, I know he’s taking care of what is the most important thing in life.”

If we saw the most well prepared Overeem going into UFC 203

“Oh in many ways he was very well prepared and in a couple of ways he wasn’t, behind the scenes. But you saw what happened. Alistair was going to use his movement and his mind, it was going to work and it did. The whole failure of the whole fight really was, he decided to jump on a guillotine instead of just punching him some more. And sometimes it’s those little decisions that are wrong, that make a big difference. At the same time, Stipe is so strong, so strong. He’s knocking people out, I mean, that’s why he’s a world champ.”

Why Overeem was underprepared in some ways

“Well, I think we didn’t put enough time into having him, after he gets the first strike in, continuing with the second or the third. We’ve been working a lot on the footwork stuff, and his coaches – he’s got some great coaches that are helping him out – working on movement and kind of stick-and-move type of situation and probably just not enough follow-up that I would have liked to have seen. And so I take that blame on myself that I didn’t oversee it, making sure we follow up a little bit more. But with that being said, everything that had been trained and practiced, everything that all his coaches had done, worked out very, very well in the fight, it was just a split-second type of thing that happened. And then he threw a kick where he posted down on his leg after the kick, instead of keeping his balance and he gave Stipe access to take him down. So again, it’s a game of inches. Heavyweights, my goodness, they hit so hard that you never know what’s going to happen.”

How long until Overeem comes back into the gym and fights again

“He doesn’t have any memory lapses, and in my mind it’s more of a mild concussion. So it’s more for safety, you know, taking some time out. He’s had a long career, he’s been hit a lot, there’s no doubt, but he hasn’t been, as of late, the kind of fighter that takes a lot of damage at all in the gym. In fact, I’m not sure if he got hit many times at all getting ready for this fight. So I think his brain’s going to be fine and hope to god it is and he could be back soon. I think Alistair, if he really wanted to, if he doesn’t need any time off, if he doesn’t want to spend time with family, he could be back by the end of the year, early next year.”

If he wants to see Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic

“I’m a big believer in what Jon Jones can do. I told everybody a long time ago, nobody beats Jon Jones but himself, that’s what I said. Nobody studies as hard as Jon Jones, looking at tape. He knows what his fighter’s going to do before he does it and Jon can beat anybody out there. I think he’s going to just continue to dominate the Light Heavyweight division if he wants. If he wants to step up for Stipe, we just can’t get hit by those big punches. Other than that, I think Jon could dominate that fight. But like everything, Heavyweights, one punch makes a difference. So I would think that I would like to see Jon just dominate the light heavyweight division first and then try to move to heavyweight down the road.”

Given Jones’ past competition, including a former heavyweight in Daniel Cormier, if Stipe Miocic would be the toughest fight to date

“Well (Stipe would be) the scariest fight to date because it’s the one-punch power and then it’s a strength of someone that can be on top of you. And Stipe is very, very strong and because of that one-punch power it’s scary. It makes people second-guess what they’re doing. So for that reason it’s kind of the scariest fight in that way, but it’s kind of like fighting (Anthony) Johnson or anyone else like that – if you can avoid the big punches, then Jon Jones can dominate.”

Some of the other advantages Jones has over Stipe

“Oh yeah, from long range, Jon Jones makes people second-guess stepping in because he’s throwing kicks at your legs. You’re not sure when you get in there if you really want to come in, because the elbows are gonna hit you and then you’re always constantly worrying about his own takedowns; and Jon has some very unorthodox, unpredictable ways to throw people, you know, some very good overhooks into throws, things that they’re not used to seeing as much. And once Jon is on top of somebody, it’s basically a bloody mess.”

If Coach Wink has heard any updates on when Jones might return

“No. I thought it was coming sooner, but all of a sudden it’s kind of gotten dead. No one’s giving us any answers. And I know Jon was in the gym this morning, training, looking pretty good. And he’s actually said, he’s just kind of enjoying spending time with his daughters and helping them out in school and stuff and he’s kind of enjoying the family thing right now. So I don’t even know if Jon is in any rush at the moment. I know he’s always willing to fight somebody, but he’s going to have to get this suspension out of the way and go forward.”

Thoughts on Travis Browne’s performance at UFC 203

“I think Travis Browne forgot about all the footwork he used to have. Honestly, I think I wasn’t – well first off, they’re big guys that can hurt people very easily. I think Travis Browne got away with calling timeout. And people can say bad things about him, but he got away with it. That’s not on him, that’s on the ref. And everybody stopped, Werdum could have jumped on him himself. So it’s kind of like that when you’re in a fight, you win the fight however you can. So if he tried to get into the guy’s head, as Nick or Nate Diaz do, that’s fair because it’s a fight. The guy is trying to give you brain damage, so posturing and acting in different ways, I don’t see it as a bad thing. It’s all about winning the fight.”

Thoughts on Travis Browne’s style and progression as a fighter since leaving Jackson/Winkeljohn’s

“I think he went to a boxing coach and tried to learn just that style and he’s put all of his eggs in that one basket. The problem with that is, MMA is big and sometimes you have to pull all the tools out of your tool box. If the few tools that you decide to bring to the party don’t work, you’re kind of screwed. But if you have access to more tools and more variety, you can do more things and then the unpredictableness comes along and makes even those first tools more effective.”

If Coach Wink would welcome Travis back to the gym

“I will never say never, but at the moment I don’t want him. It’s just one of those things. I don’t dislike him, but he left and I have my other guys now that I’m focused on. And, you know, he left and he said some things about how he’s learning these skills he didn’t have before. But I’ll never say never. Because (when) he left, apparently he felt we did something wrong. So we’d need to look at that and see if us as coaches or me as a coach did something wrong. So there’s always a possibility that we can learn from our mistakes, but right now I’m focused on other heavyweights and I’m not sure we have room for him at the gym.”