January 27, 2020
The story of greatness would inaugurate in Albuquerque, New Mexico when martial arts coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn put forces together in hopes of formatting the highest level of mixed martial arts gym on the planet. Greg, stemming from a background of wrestlers with decades of MMA experience and Mike, a world-renowned kickboxing champion and striking coach were the ideal candidates to achieve such accomplishments.
Two of the greatest minds in the business now co-owned a gym together; it was only a matter a time before their partnership produced world champions.
The Arrival of Jonny ‘Bones’ Jones
The summer of 2009 would see an additional member added to the list of trained UFC fighters when a young Jon Jones walked through the doors of the Jackson Wink MMA Academy. The UFC management, the fans, the critics and not even the bookmakers could predict the journey these three men in Jones, Jackson & Winkeljohn would begin together.
It wasn’t plain sailing, to begin with; Jones suffered the first loss on his record in his debut fight under the Jackson Wink banner. But don’t be alarmed, the new kid from upstate New York made a rookie mistake which concluded in a disqualification loss for Jones. The 22-year-old boasted an undefeated 9-0 record prior to this blip and even Dana White himself attempted to have this decision overruled due to the controversial yet unfortunate outcome to the fight.
With the illegal elbows behind him, it’s still joked about today amongst MMA die-hards how Matt Hamill is the true G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) due to the win on his record over Jones, but just-in-case anybody is new to the sport, Jones outclassed Hamill in all aspects of the fight-game with the result reflecting nothing other than a bad-luck on Jones behalf.
You’d better think twice before disqualifying Jon Jones again, the following two-years (2010, 2011) would reveal a Light Heavyweight fighter the UFC and fans alike couldn’t have foreseen.
● Jon Jones defeats Brandon Vera via 1st round TKO (Ground & Pound > Elbows & Punches)
● Jon Jones defeats V.Matyushenko via TKO (Elbows)
● Jon Jones defeats Ryan Bader via 2nd round submission (Guillotine Choke)
● Jon Jones defeats Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua via TKO (Punches & Knees)
● Jon Jones defeats Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson via 4th round submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
● Jon Jones defeats Lyoto Machida via 2nd round submission (Guillotine Choke)
Within a two year span of his debut fight under Jackson Wink Team, Jones defeated all of his opponents without allowing the fight to reach the judge’s scorecards; on-top of that he became the youngest UFC champion since they’d introduced instituted weight classes.
A complete martial arts master-class was put on against Rua when at the age of 23; Jones entered himself into the history books and without the fearless coaching of Jackson Wink MMA, might never have been possible.
Jones’s offensive striking was evidently refined and perfected since joining Jackson Wink Team, his game-planning would reach new heights and already with a background in wrestling, Jackson and Jones were bound to transition their combined experience into MMA wrestling tactics.
Jones wasn’t the only guy to pick up gold as Greg Jackson would collect the MMA Gym Of The Year award for the consecutive 3rdyear running in 2011.
Through the years of 2011-2019, Jon Jones has consistently defended his Light Heavyweight title and even when he was stripped of the belt, he would return within the year to claim it back from Daniel Cormier who was keeping it warm on Jon’s departure.
Some of the other names added to Jones’s hit list were, Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alexander Gustafsson (x2), Glover Teixeira, Daniel Cormier (x2), Ovince Saint Preux, Anthony Smith and most recently… Thiago Santos.
The most legendary battle from Jones catalog was obviously his long and heated feud with Daniel Cormier. Jones continued to prove doubters and critics wrong with a lot of heat outside the octagon jading a narrow-minded % of the public’s opinion, but from a true martial arts fan and journalist,’ thou shalt not judge those who we don’t know’. And, it’s easy to find fault until the shoes on the other foot with a spotlight shining on your life and career.
Family men first, but secondly; Jon Jones and Jackson Wink MMA have remained a solid force to be reckoned with since 2011 all the way into a new decade.
2020: New Year, New Opportunities
Holly ‘The Preachers Daughter’ Holm Starts the Year Right
The “Preachers Daughter” Holly Holm registered into a win column at UFC 245 ‘McGregor vs Cerrone’. An impressive decision victory for Holm puts her right back on track for title contention. It was the second fight between Holm and Raquel Pennington which ended up with the exact same result, but this time a decisive one, a Unanimous Decision Victory for Holm. Pennington was totally out-classed for the second time and Holm reminded critics why she’s one of the greatest females to ever step foot in the cage.
With the New Year come new opportunities, which funnily enough involve Jon in the second PPV of the year, Jones will be looking to successfully defend his Light Heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes. Team-mate and fellow UFC star Holly Holm has already registered one win for the Jackson Wink Academy in 2020, with Jones making the walk just a few weeks after.
Jon Jones to Continue the Trend 2020 and Onwards
If Jones were to compete for another year and successfully defend his crown until March 2021, he’ll have accomplished a decade-long title defence and will cement his legacy more-so than it already has been. The long relationship between Jones and Jackson Wink Team could live on for another decade, at this point I don’t see much standing in front of this trio of masterminds.
Jon Jones next title defense will come against Dominick Reyes at UFC 247 live from the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas. On the 9th of February Jones will take on an undefeated prospect in Dominick Reyes, I have a funny feeling another night of Jones/Jackson Wink greatness is upon the horizon.
This article first appeared on JACKSONWINK.COM on 1/27/20