Mike Winkeljohn, one of the coaches behind Jon Jones, says he’s “amazed” by UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
Winkeljohn has served as one of Jones’ head coaches for many years, and could soon be tasked with preparing the MMA legend for a fight with Adesanya.
Jones, the former UFC light heavyweight champ, and Adesanya, the reigning UFC middleweight champ, have been jawing back and forth about a potential matchup for months, and seem to be on a collision course.
If the fight does happen, Winkeljohn will be a crucial part of Jones’ preparations, and seems to relish the possibility, as he’s “amazed” by Adesanya, and impressed by the middleweight champ’s team, City Kickboxing in Auckland, New Zealand.
“I’m always amazed at some things he does,” Winkeljohn said on Submission Radio recently. “I think to myself, gosh, if he only does these things against him, and then Izzy makes a small correction and solves that problem. So, he’s a hard guy to figure out in that he has so many skills and such great timing, great speed and takedown defense. He’s so well-rounded and getting better. He’s getting better every fight. I’m watching it, I’m real impressed with what they’ve been able to do with the team down there in New Zealand.”
Like many members of the MMA community, Winkeljohn believes there’s a high chance of this fight happening. However, he believes it’s most likely to happen in the heavyweight division, as that weight class is currently the object of Jones’ focus at present.
“My first thought is heavyweight,” Winkeljohn said. “Have Israel come up to heavyweight. Here’s the deal, Jon Jones has always fought a who’s who, and it’s always been this guy, you have to go beat this guy to secure your legacy. And then he beats him. And then it’s, okay, you have to beat this guy to secure your legacy. And then he beats him. Jon doesn’t need to chase anybody, they need to chase him. That’s the way I look at it. That’s why he’s the best
“(So), probably heavyweight. Jon’s current mindset is to get to heavyweight. That makes sense. Once he puts all that mass on, there’s no reason to come back down. What’s the purpose of that? Go back down to chase Izzy? Absolutely not. Jon’s the man, that’s why he’s the greatest, and people need to chase him, and he’s a leader, he’s the leader of the sport.”
What do you think of Mike Winkeljohn’s comments on Israel Adesanya?