While it may be all smiles between UFC veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone heading into his UFC Denver clash with ‘Platinum’ Mike Perry, things are not so rosy when it comes to his former camp, Jackson Wink MMA.
Speaking on last night’s episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, Cerrone went into detail regarding the circumstances which led to his exit from the camp, firmly pointing the finger at coach Mike Winklejohn for what he see’s as the decline of the world famous gym and accusing the camp of choosing new recruit Perry over him.
“I went to talk to Greg and Wink and say, ‘Hey, this guy’s brand new to the gym. He’s only been here one camp, a couple of months,” Cerrone said. “I don’t think that 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 here for this fight,’ then f**king Winkeljohn tells me, ‘I thought you called him out’, he’s just a sh*t-ass and lies to your face, so to me he was like, ‘Sure, no problem, we’ll clear it up and we won’t have any issues.'”
Cerrone said he received a phone call from Winklejohn the following day explaining that the team had held a meeting and decided to prepare Perry at Jackson Wink for their upcoming contest and that Cerrone wouldn’t be welcome. The fact that he received the news in a phone call doesn’t sit well with the UFC veteran.
“(They) didn’t have the f*cking balls or the backbone to say it to my f*cking face when I was right there with them,” Cerrone said. “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.”
“With Greg, his name is on that building. It’s Jackson-Wink. Jackson-f*cking-Wink,” Cerrone said. “When it came time to pick the decision and they said, ‘We want to go with Perry.’ Why the f*ck didn’t you stand — because Greg’s still with me — he’s like, ‘I’ll just come to the ranch and we’ll sort this out.’ And I’m like, ‘What the f*ck are you talking about?’ You tell me I can’t come into the Jackson-Wink gym, but you’re going to backdoor and come into my f*cking house and we’re going to train to fight while Perry’s there at the gym.”
For Cerrone, this offer from his long time coach did nothing to resolve what he see’s as a clear conflict of interests.
“You see everything he does and then you’re going to come and you’re going to train me, not to mention you’re holding classes there and — you might not be training him to beat me, but there’s a lot of people there that have trained with me for f*cking years. So to me that was the point I was saying. Can we just not have him there for this camp?”
Having spent years training with Jackson, Cowboy points to the merger with Winklejohn in 2007 as the point the famed gym, in his opinion, lost it’s way. Cerrone went on to claim that money has become the driving force behind every decision made, including the idea of allowing the general public to pay to come and train with their pro team.
“When Winkeljohn merged over, all the big pros left, it turned into a puppy mill,” Cerrone said. “Back when Greg had it, and it was its own school, you couldn’t just turn up to a pro class. Some guy couldn’t just come here, knock on your door, and the next thing you know he has shin pads on and he’s sparring.”
“Literally at the new gym, bums come in off the street — I swear to God — and will come in and put stuff on and fight. That’s a true story. Random bums off the street. That would never happen back in the day.”
Mike Winklejohn was quick to respond to Cerrone, calling him a narcicist and claiming that he regularly pulls people out of Jackson Wink to train with him at the BMF ranch but rarely if ever goes out of his way to support other members of the team.
“Loyalty is two sides,” Winklejohn told MMAjunkie. “Cowboy is not loyal to anybody in the gym. He’s on his own. He does his own thing. He has not, from what I can remember in the last 10 years, ever helped anybody out with their own camp. He’s as narcissistic as they come.”
Cerrone’s words also seemed to upset long time JacksonWink fighter Diego Sanchez who quickly took to social media to defend his camp.
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@joerogan @jacksonwink_mma is on fire we’re on the ⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️ up’s bro no lie I have been here longer than anyone and seen the many stages of our evolution of this team!!! We’re stronger than ever our defeats only helped us to grow and we are coming into the prosperous stage just 👀 and see!!! @cowboycerrone had been so busy building his empire the past three four years and he’s done a fantastic job doing it but that’s been his focus he’s never been here!!! Maybe a grappling class here or there a sparring every 6 months??? That’s not a team mate it’s just someone who is out only for themselves. I’d try to give him a round if we crossed paths here or there the last time he got me real good with a side kick to the liver 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼…. I see it all!! I treat this like a job 9-5 I come everyday I stay when everyone leaves to rest and eat.. so I see it all!! and in the past ten years cowboy never went out of his way to help me get ready for a fight not ounce! That’s why I posted previous about why I was #teamplatinum @platinummikeperry is here to give me rounds if I need them and helped me more in one camp than cowboy did in ten years🤔… don’t bad mouth my gym or my coach @mmacoachwink we’re good peeps striving to better our city our state and our sport!!!! If Perry falls out come November ILL BE READY TO FILL IN WITH ZERO HESITATION! And we know where @gregjacksonmma will be #loyalty #itsnotallaboutmoney #realtalk #STILLTHEBESTGYM @jonnybones @carloscondit @karatehottiemma @hollyholm @sixgungibson @thefranklester @dr.beauhightower @dranita.jwnutrition @smokin_joe_jwmma @johndodsonmma @harrystleger @chadinspiremma @bartlujan @coach_alex_striking @platinummikeperry @clanders41 @chrisbreezymma @maurice_thehulk_jackson @bvonkl @joby1_kanobe @madrussian29 @incredablemma @brownbomber_mma @timkennedymma @cjbmma @ahamilton_mma @trav.foster @brownbearufc @groovylando @mmacoachwink @siyarized #DIVIDEDWEFALLUNITEDWESTAND one more thing @chadinspiremma is the best mma wrestling coach In the game you would not know but maybe you will find out if we ever get to what the octagon! #donecrossedthelineofrespect @platinummikeperry your up 🤜🏼🤛🏼#WAR
Interestingly, Sanchez went through a similar experience earlier in his career following Jackson Wink’s decision to bring UFC welterweight champion Georges St Pierre in to the camp while Sanchez was pursuing the welterweight gold himself.
Hot on his heels was the official JacksonWink MMA Twitter account, choosing to take aim at Cerrone’s claim that Winklejohn is responsible for turning the gym into a ‘puppy farm’.
This was shortly followed by another, more cryptic post, hinting that there is more to the story than Cerrone’s side of things.