Jon Jones began his 2015 with a fantastic title defence against a tough opponent, and followed up by testing positive for cocaine metabolites and entering a rehabilitation center overnight. Few believed that the UFC light-heavyweight champion was an addict. However, his willingness to dabble in recreational drugs shortly before an anticipated title defence certainly highlighted his lifestyle problems.
Striking coach Mike Winkeljohn, who has worked with Jones for several years, believes that main issue is that Jones "finds himself hanging out with idiots."
"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," Winkeljohn told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. "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."
Winkeljohn added that the decision to sample dangerous drugs ahead of a pivotal title fight was poor decision making, and likely impacted his performance during the fight.
"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."
Several weeks have passed since announcement that Jones had failed his pre-fight drug test, and according to Winkeljohn, it appears Jones is back in control of his life.
"I think he has it under control, and you're going to see a great fight in May when he comes back," he said. "He's already back to training a little bit, slowly but surely getting back into it."
Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com.