Jon Jones’ stand-up coach Mike Winkljohn had nothing but positive superlatives to use in describing the future of the young champion.
“[Jones] was sticking to the game plan for the most part, except for failing to move his head off that line that we knew Machida was going to be striking on. Machida’s very linear with what he does, and so we don’t want to be there. [Jones] was not doing that, and it’s my fault for not instilling the confidence in him to do that at first. It did take to the second round for us to get him to do that, but the game plan was to pick him apart a little bit from the outside. I figured we would catch him with the standup and hurt him and then when he goes down, we’d be able to finish him.”
“He’s capable of so many more things that he does in the gym quite often. He has knockout power in both hands when he wants to throw them. He’s just at that point where he doesn’t have enough experience yet to trust his motion and his distancing as Anderson Silva does now. But soon, he’ll be Anderson Silva-like with his standup.”
“His feet are getting to the point where people don’t want to be taking those kicks. They will be at the highest K-1 kickboxing level here soon. It’s just a matter of time through repetition and confidence to get there. People haven’t seen how explosive his knees are. We’ve seen him drop elbows on people, but he can do that standing up as well. I know one buzzed by Machida early in the fight. He’s capable of becoming so much better than he is right now. He’s just scary.
“I don’t know what people are going to do with him. Really. He’s getting faster. I think he’s going to have a jab that’s going to be comparable to a Muhammad Ali jab as far as dominating his opponent when he wants to use it.”
“I guess I don’t pay enough attention to how he’s perceived on the Internet and stuff, but there’s always those people that are haters. I think a lot of it’s just jealousy of the fact that he’s come up so fast. Maybe fear that somebody’s going to dominate, but he’s not that bad guy. He’s a good kid. He’s giving and caring and he tries to help other people in the gym. He’s kind of become a leader in the gym in a small way, even though [he’s] a young guy.”