Jon Jones' Coach Mike Winkeljohn: Rashad Evans Could Have Knocked out Jones

Ari LeVauxContributor IMay 8, 2012

I recently sat down with coach Mike Winkeljohn in his office in Albuquerque, N.M. “Wink” gave his impressions on Travis Browne’s and Jon Jones’ performances at UFC 145, and looked ahead to  Diego Brandao's fight against Darren Elkins at UFC 146. Here are some quotes from the interview.


On Travis Browne vs. Chad Griggs

When I was holding for him getting ready for this fight, he hit me with a knee one time through the pads that cracked my face and split my lip open. So I was excited to see him do that to someone else, cause I was calling him a jerk when he did that to me.

On Jon Jones getting caught by Rashad’s overhand right

Jon stood to still too much and got hit by it. Close to finishing the fight. It could have been, within inches, a little more snap of the hips to snap the chin down and cause that much more pain that would have put Jon out. So we got away with that one. And same thing with the head kick. The Sean Salmon head kick that I worked with Rashad on so much. Jon got right in that space, leaned in and Rashad kicked him in the head. Other than those two moments Jon pretty much owned the fight, and so I was really happy with that.

On John Dodson

Little John, he’s the real deal. He’s got a title in his future at 125, and maybe going up to 135. The most athletic guy I've ever taught. It’s like playing a video game. Working with him I can just call things out and he just does whatever.

On Dodson’s footwork

He’s able to move so quick that people can’t hit him. And they’re not sure where when he’s coming or where he’s attacking from. He’s starting to understand how to get his feet underneath him, so he has the power. So he’s getting the knockout power. We’ve seen that on the Ultimate Fighter. He’s starting to put people out. At 125, that doesn’t happen very often.

On Diego Brandao learning how to hunt people

He’s throwing, and then he steps off to the side and kind of hides in the bushes, and waits for his prey to turn a certain way, and then he’s able to attack again.

So in my mind, I’m always thinking light wildlife. Just waiting for the right opportunity. Instead of just jumping into a scramble and not sure what’s going to happen. It’s kind of waiting. Just waiting for the right time to pounce on your prey. Diego’s getting smart at that. He’s getting better and better at small angles.