Opinion: Prominent MMA Coach, Mike Winkeljohn, Unfairly Criticized About Instagram Post

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The world seems to be divided between those who feel that an indefinite lockdown period, and destruction of the world economy, is the correct/necessary response to the pandemic. Then, there are those who feel the indefinite lockdown period is an absolutely antithetical solution when all factors are considered.

Sadly, those who feel it is not acceptable seem to be the subject of ridicule, and called ‘careless’ and ‘reckless’. To top it off, many are also incorrectly labeled as ‘fanatics’ or ‘conspiracy theorists’.


Winkeljohn, a long respected MMA coach to a stable of champion-level athletes (including Holly Holm and Jon Jones) and a former kickboxing champion himself — conveyed his belief on this subject through an Instagram post. A fellow MMA publication pointed out, rather condescendingly, that Winklejohn incorrectly referenced a photograph and quote which was attributed to an infamous historical figure.

Later, in an interview with Rick Wright, of the Albuquerque Journal, he apologized for the incorrect attritubution.

“There’s no doubt I made a mistake,” Winklejohn said, “in that I (misattributed) a quote that’s been used many, many times on the internet. … Yeah, I was wrong, so sorry about that. But my point is that there are other things which are more important. A lot of people aren’t going to talk about that.”

It is my feeling that Winklejohn made it clear what he was attempting to point out… That he felt reducing the rights of citizens, and removing freedoms provided in the United States Constitution (as we have seen during this pandemic) is a very dangerous thing.

I, for one, understand the context of his post, and think he is absolutely correct with his original assertion.

He shared his feelings that businesses need to be allowed to re-open as soon as humanly possible to avoid greater damage to the economy and life as we once knew it, and once again he is absolutely right.

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As a high profile mixed martial arts coach, he showed the courage to express his feelings in writing, and he deserves respect for that — not scorn.

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Written by Colin Crandall

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