The house Frank Lester posted on Instagram represented the final straw in a long-simmering conflict with Jackson Wink MMA Academy and its biggest star.

Jon Jones broke a handshake deal for coaching services prior to UFC 239

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After 3 different houses, being screwed over by the best team in the world —->> (@jacksonwink_mma) & No.1 lb for lb fighter on the planet @jonnybones on over $13k on his last title fight, myself, my wife & our children Jordan, Braden, & baby on the way Arya, finally have a home big enough for all of us. I have no regrets, I did my job and everybody who has followed my journey knows I did my job, Jon Jones & Mike Winkeljohn just did me dirtier that I have ever even seen in this fight game. But good always prevails over evil and we have a home big enough for all of us. I will be opening TANK Mixed Martial Arts In the next 6 months and we are going to takeover the beautiful city of Albuquerque New Mexico! Karma is real. And Jon, it’s on site with me & you & you know that. You stole from my family. You got me fired from my job for no reason and for that I am grateful bc I will never work for a crook like Mike Winkelloser again. I’m 10X ‘s the coach you’ve ever been. You just bought out Greg’s name and unfortunately JACKSONS was out in the control of a dirtbag. But fuck you all very much! The [email protected] that comes to Ming when I hear your names are, cowardice & deceit. It’s on site JBJ. So keep that security close F>

A post shared by Frank Lester (@thefranklester) on


Mike Winkeljohn

Holly Holm, and other team members.


Lester traces his fallout with Jones and Jackson Wink to UFC 235. Two weeks prior to a fight with Anthony Smith, Jones needed a sparring partner of a similar height and build as the challenger, and he offered Lester $3,000 plus expenses to join the team on short notice.

Jones dangled the prospect of a full-time coaching job with good performance, Lester said, and the two sparred regularly before the fight.

The win nonetheless put him on better footing with Jones. Back in Albuquerque, Lester said he and other coaches were included in a meeting between the champ and WME. They collectively signed off on Thiago SantosLuke Rockhold.

After the meeting, Lester said Jones stopped him in the hallway.

Given his status as a new coach, Lester took that to mean he would get the low end of that range.

Lester said he and the team immediately got to work creating a 12-week training program for Jones. Its aim was to build the champ as the fight approached, gradually increasing the intensity of sessions until he peaked for the fight.

Because he had to stay sharp for sparring sessions with the pound-for-pound great, Lester said he pared down personal coaching sessions that usually earned him $180 daily. He went into debt in the weeks prior to 239. He also delayed a yearly trip to see his 12-year-old daughter, with whom he shares custody with his ex, in Florida.

And there was one more hit that arrived on fight week. Lester said Winkeljohn called a meeting with him the morning after the team went to the Performance Institute on July 3 to cut weight and train. Winkeljohn suddenly announced his services were no longer required, and he needed to move to a different hotel.

Although MMAFighting cannot confirm the origin of the text conversation or the identities of its participants, according to the names attributed in the screenshots provided by Lester, the text messages appear to be from Jones and his teammates.


Over the past 13 months, the departures of several high-profile fighters have brought Jackson-Wink and its culture into the spotlight.

Diego SanchezDonald Cerroneand blasted Winkeljohn for letting financial incentives trump team loyalty.

Jones and Holm have continually defended the team against negative headlines. Winkeljohn countered Cerrone by calling him a narcissist

In the texts forwarded by Lester, Jones and Winkeljohn paint him as a drug addict who got in the way of training and made trouble behind the scenes. They shame him for his monetary request and imply he should be grateful to be a part of the team. Other team members appear to echo Jones.

Per online court records, Lester was charged in New Mexico with battery and possession of drug paraphernalia in 2014; he pled guilty/no contest after registering a plea agreement. And in 2015, he was charged with DWI, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of one ounce or less of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoids; he pled guilty and received probation.

For years, Lester said he was unquestioningly loyal to the team despite persistent issues over money. He said he accepted $500 for training UFC welterweight Siyar Bahadurzada

Lester is indeed starting a new gym, Tank MMA, which he expects to open in Albuquerque in March 2020. He said several coaches, whom he declines to name, have complained to him over payment issues with Jones.


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