UFC 239 was expected to be a big card for JacksonWink. They had Jon Jones defending his light heavyweight title in the main event, Holly Holm challenging for the bantamweight strap in the co-main. Also on the main card was Diego Sanchez battling Michael Chiesa.
Yet, just days before the fight, Sanchez left JacksonWink and was cornered by one person: a self-awareness coach with no martial arts experience.
According to Mike Winkeljohn, Sanchez left the gym abruptly with no real explanation. And, he has still not returned to the gym — though he is welcome back any time.
“No, he is not back. I just tell people he is on vacation. I have no idea what is going on with that young man. He is just Diego Sanchez,” Winkeljohn said to BJPENN.com. “If you have watched Diego Sanchez over the years you know what I am talking about. He has a gigantic heart but who knows why he does what he does. But, all I know is we will keep working at the gym and see what he does.”
Winkeljohn isn’t even sure who was in Sanchez’s corner at UFC 239, but says that man was at the gym working with Sanchez doing stuff neither Greg Jackson or Winkeljohn have seen before.
“All I know is one day there was some goofball in our gym working with Diego Sanchez on stuff that is quite comical to watch. I did approach that guy and said what are you guys working on,” he explained. “Pretty much as soon as I tried to figure out what he was doing and tried to challenge him about the situation, the next thing I know is we were all fired. It is what it is. If it works for Diego I guess it works for Diego. We run our gym for a certain reason and we have been successful at it.”
What do you make of Mike Winkeljohn’s explanation as to why Diego Sanchez left the gym?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/27/2019.