Diego Sanchez did not take kindly to Donald Cerrone’s criticism of Jackson-Wink MMA.
On Wednesday, Cerrone lashed out at his long-time Albuquerque gym, and particularly co-owner Mike Winkeljohn, in an interview on Joe Rogan’s JRE MMA Show. Cerrone, who has also trained at his own gym, The BMF Ranch, said Jackson-Wink MMA has gone downhill since the years co-owner Greg Jackson ran the gym on his own. Cerrone called the gym a “puppy mill” that allows nearly anyone to train there so long as they pay the monthly rate. He also criticized Winkeljohn for training all fighters the same way.
Cerrone is set to face Mike Perry at UFC Denver in November. Perry joined Jackson-Wink MMA a few months ago ahead of his July win over Paul Felder at UFC 226. According to “Cowboy,” Winkeljohn quickly opted to train Perry instead of Cerrone for the bout, which Cerrone believes was because of money. Cerrone said he is a very loyal person and that he hasn’t felt the loyalty he’d expect at the gym.
Sanchez has decided to stand up for his long-time gym. He fired back at Cerrone in a lengthy social media post, which he issued after Cerrone’s conversation with Rogan had wrapped up on Wednesday.
“[Cerrone] 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!!!” wrote Sanchez, who also denied claims that Jackson-Wink MMA is going downhill. “Maybe a grappling class here or there a sparring every 6 months??? That’s not a teammate it’s just someone who is out only for themselves.
“Cowboy never went out of his way to help me get ready for a fight not once!”
Sanchez said that Perry has been willing to spar with him since joining the gym earlier this year. “The Nightmare” made it clear he’s Team Perry when “Platinum” fights Cerrone later this year, and even said he’d be more than willing to fight Cerrone if Perry for some reason is forced to pull out.
“Don’t bad mouth my gym or my coach [Winkeljohn] we’re good peeps striving to better our city our state and our sport!!!!” Sanchez wrote. “If Perry falls out come November ILL BE READY TO FILL IN WITH ZERO HESITATION!”
In his interview with Rogan, Cerrone also accused Jackson-Wink MMA wrestling coach Chad Smith of being fired from a previous coaching position for trying to sell steroids. Sanchez has worked with Smith for years and denied Cerrone’s allegations in a separate post.
“BTW this is all BS and my coach [Smith] is so legit that’s why I chose him to corner me and to be one of the men that lead me into a battle where my life is on the line!!!!” Sanchez wrote. “[Cerrone], your not my homie anymore!”
Sanchez, one of the original Jackson-Wink MMA members, meets Craig White in a welterweight bout Sept. 8 at UFC 228 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.