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Donald Cerrone: I’m no longer welcome at Jackson-Wink ‘puppy mill,’ where bums off the street can spar with pros

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Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Mike Perry recently stated that Donald Cerrone was on his way out of his longtime gym, Jackson-Wink in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after training complications arose when the pair were booked to throw down at UFC Fight Night 139 on Nov. 10 from inside Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

As Perry explained, “Cowboy” is simply salty that no one “kisses his ass” anymore.

But Cerrone told a much different tale during a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, When he requested Perry not be allowed to train at the gym during their bout, “Cowboy” was basically told he was no longer welcome at the gym he’s been training at for over a decade.

“When I wanted to go to 155 and Perry called me out and I said sure, no problem. So I went to talk to Greg and Wink and say, ‘This guy is brand new to the gym, he’s only been here for one camp, a couple of months, I don’t think it’s okay for him to come in and call me out. That’s not right. So if he is doing that, I don’t think we should allow him to train her for this fight.’ So fucking Winkeljohn tells me, ‘Well, I thought you called him out?’ Just a shit ass, and lies to your face. So to me he was like, ‘Yeah, no problem I will clear it up and we wont have any issues.’ The next day he calls me on the phone and says, ‘You know what, I thought about it and if we don’t have Perry then I don’t get paid. I need to get paid for this fight. Can you just pay Greg? I don’t make any money for the gym, so we’re just going to go with him.’ He then basically told me I am no longer welcome in the gym. He said the team had a meeting; bullshit they had a meeting. I talked to everybody and there was no meeting. So to me, the loyalty of Wink taking over the gym is shit, man. Turned it into a puppy mill. It’s all about money now. It’s not the old Jackson’s.”

Why does Cerrone’s side of the story sound so familiar?

The pain of betrayal for Cerrone is multiplied given the fact he was one of the original members of the gym that helped it become the powerhouse it is today, and stuck by Greg Jackson when times were tough.

“To see where the gym was to where it is now, it’s heartbreaking to me, to be honest. You want to talk about loyalty, which is the biggest thing in this conversation we are having right now, how they pick someone over me through being loyal. I stuck by Greg, even when the gym started going down. When Winkeljohn merged over, all the big pros left and it turned into a puppy mill. Back when Greg had it and it was its own school, you couldn’t turn up to a pro class. Like some guy couldn’t just come in here an knock on your door, like you say you get weirdos all the time. Next thing you know he has shin pads on and he is sparring. There is literally at the new gym, bums come off the street. I swear to God and will fight, will put things on and will fight. True story. Random bums off the street. That would never happen back in the day. (Greg) is so out of the loop and Winkeljohn runs the entire thing. He (Greg) kind of stepped back for a couple of years and is kind of doing other things. He got burned out I guess. Which is why I created the BMF ranch. I needed somewhere to go and something to do. That is Wink’s argument right now, saying I’m at my own place and I never go there. So I told him I never go there becasue the people he lets in there now is outlandish. You pay $150 and you can get on the mats and spar with Holly Holm. You know what I mean? That’s what it’s come to down there. It’s no longer just us, good pros and everyone there for the same missions, trying to get better...it’s asinine what they’ve turned that place into.”

To add another interesting twist, Cerrone revealed that his longtime trainer Greg Jackson told him he’d go down to his BMF Ranch and train him there. That’s because Cerrone only pays him, not Winkeljohn, for his services. It’s a proposal which didn’t sit too well with “Cowboy.”

Still, Cerrone was very adamant the beef had nothing to do with Perry himself, as he is simply a fighter trying to find a home. It’s the betrayal that has “Cowboy” so hot and bothered.

Can you blame him?