While he’s banned from Jackson-Wink MMA and has vowed never to return, Jon Jones has joined another Greg Jackson-affiliated gym.
On Thursday, the former UFC light heavyweight champion announced that he was moving to Jackson’s MMA Acoma. Like Jackson-Wink MMA, the facility is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And also like Jackson-Wink MMA, it bears Greg Jackson’s name.
Following an arrest for domestic violence after his Hall of Fame induction this past September, Jones (26-1, 1NC) was banned from Jackson-Wink by co-owner Mike Winkeljohn, who broke the news on The MMA Hour. While a gym spokesperson later clarified the ban was only temporary, and Winkeljohn implied the same, Jones subsequently announced he wouldn’t be back.
“You’re like my little brother. You have to stop drinking and fix these things for a certain period of time until you come back to the gym,” Winkeljohn told Ariel Helwani while appearing on The MMA Hour.
While Jones has publicly talked about sobering up, it appears he wasn’t willing to go to whatever lengths Jackson-Wink and/or Winkeljohn himself felt necessary to facilitate his return there. Or alternately felt slighted with the matter being aired in public. Regardless, with his eye on the heavyweight division, Jones appears to have found a new home at Jackson’s MMA Acoma.
“I want to sincerely thank Gym owner/ coach Nick Urso and everyone at the original Jackson’s MMA program for allowing me to call their dojo my new home base. I was so proud to see the condition of the gym, it was so well taken care of and the energy felt amazing exactly the way it was before,” Jones wrote in a statement on social media announcing the move. “It has wonderful memories of my time learning from GSP, Sugar Evans, The dean of mean and so many more. I won my first world title out of this gym. I am grateful to have this comfortable place for both my local and visiting training partners to come enjoy. The best is yet to come!”
Urso, for those not familiar, is a pro fighter himself, having shared the cage with the likes of former UFC title challenger Ray Borg and UFC fighters Brandon Royval and Jordan Espinosa over the years. Urso’s last fight came on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017, where he was submitted by Espinosa. The pair had previously fought a year prior, a bout that ended in a No Contest.
Jones’ next move appears to still be a run at heavyweight. He has previously suggested he will fight again sometime in 2022. When it does, it will mark his first appearance since a February 2020 decision victory against Dominick Reyes.