Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones doesn't have a drug problem -- as evidenced by his 24-hour stint in rehab -- he has a partying problem.
That's according to his striking coach Mike Winkeljohn. In the famed trainer's view, "Bones" is far from an addict, but admitted during his conversation on The MMA Hour that his star pupil has a tendency to party quite a bit; even close to fight night.
His words (via MMA Fighting):
"No, he doesn't have a problem. He parties. In my opinion, it's definitely not an addict type of thing at all. I think he sometimes finds himself hanging out with idiots."
"Bones" shocked the mixed martial arts (MMA) world when it was discovered that a pre-fight drug test he took prior to his championship fight against Daniel Cormier revealed he had cocaine in his system.
And while he was still allowed to fight, seeing as how cocaine isn't a banned substance for out-of-competition drug testing, coach Winkeljohn was disappointed to hear that Jon was out partying so close to the fight and dabbling with cocaine.
Still, he believes "Bones" will come back from the latest setback and continue to shape his legacy the right way.
"Well, it's disappointing. There's no doubt about it. It's disappointing that he'd be partying before a fight. With that being said, I don't think it helped him in the fight, I think it probably hurt him in the fight, because partying...it's taking away from his focus, and he's not rehabbing the way he should. But, the main thing about it is, okay, now it's out there, he did it, we got to fix it, he's got to overcome it and be better for it. It's so hard. I'm kind of like the older uncle yelling at him all the time. With that being said, I also believe in Jon Jones. I believe in his legacy. I believe he's going to make it to the top. Honestly, he's a young kid with everything thrown to him. And it's a tough situation. Almost every other athlete that has been put in that situation, in some ways it's crash and burn."
But, it also seems Jon can't let go of the bad influences in his life, as coach Winkeljohn says he still hangs with those same "idiots" that almost made him fall off the cliff. And he's worried that if he continues on with that group, Jones will eventually become an idiot himself.
"Honestly, I would have thought long ago, if you would have asked me five years ago, I would have thought, gosh, Jon would have fallen off a cliff, because of the influences from all these idiots hanging out with him. I thought he would fall off the cliff. But Jon has good balance. Apparently he stood at the edge of the cliff, but he didn't fall off, so now he's getting back on the path. Sure, I'm definitely worried about it. We've had that conversation. So, not only does he hang out with idiots, he acts like an idiot sometimes, and if he keeps doing it he will become an idiot himself."
Nothing like being blunt.
Jones will look to defend his title for the ninth time on May 23, 2015 when he takes on heavy-hitting Anthony Johnson in the main event of UFC 187 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hopefully he can refrain from partaking in extra-curricular activities prior to fight night, because as Alexander Gustafsson learned the hard way, "Rumble" isn't one to be taken lightly.