"He was not able to push off left foot as hard," Winkeljohn said of the champ. "We were having a hard time throwing the second punch, because Jon had the energy, but it was hard to throw the second and the third strike. We had him hurt a couple of times, and Gustafsson made it happen. He's the one that checked that leg kick, so he's the one that's responsible for hurting Jon. That's a compliment on what he did."
Even more than defending strikes, the 26-year-old Swedish fighter surprised Winkeljohn at his ability to press Jones and deny takedowns. The champ largely was unable to have his way with the challenger on the ground and even was taken to the mat for the first time in his UFC career.
Meanwhile, Gustafsson landed dozens of hard left hooks that caused Jones' face and lips to swell and worsened the cut above his eye.
"I really thought John would be able to take him down easier than he did, and that was a little frustrating for Jon," Winkeljohn said. "In the long run, it's going to make Jon a much, much better fighter. Gustafsson, he's the real deal. He's going to be there for a long time."
On Wednesday, it was revealed that Jones' foot injury is not as initially thought, which means Winkeljohn will resume his conversation with the champion soon enough at Jackson-Winkeljohn's MMA in Albuquerque, N.M. He's already got a few things he'd like to talk about when it comes to sharpening Jones' skills for his next bout, which will be against No. 1 contender Glover Teixeira (22-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC), likely Super Bowl weekend in New Jersey. But after that, Jones wants Gustafsson in a rematch.
"What kicks to throw from what range," Winkeljohn said of what he thinks Jones may improve upon. "We've got to work a little bit more on it, because we're fighting these guys that are little bit longer, so it's a different range game. I'd like to see a little more combinations out of him.
"I think there's some details I don't want to let out, but those are pretty simple to say. I'd to see Jon throw more of his strikes in combinations, especially when pressing forward, and get the takedowns better."
Although Jones took more hard punches than in any previous UFC bout, Winkeljohn isn't concerned that the fighter is setting a precedent that's ultimately unsustainable.
"I don't want to see any of my fighters get hit; that's kind of the style I've developed with them," he said. "That being said, Jon has not taken a lot of damage in his fights over and above what's happened. His elbow got popped; his foot got popped. But honestly, he hasn't been hit in the head hard like a lot of fighters, and that to me is what I'm worried about.
"There's things that are career-enders, but there's things that are life-enders. I feel good that Jon has not been hit with those type of things that are much, much more important than bone and ligaments."
The coach added: "Jon's got a pretty good chin. I'd like to see him never have to use that chin again."
When Winkeljohn spoke to MMAjunkie.com, the UFC was undecided whether Jones would next meet Gustafsson or Teixeira. From Winkeljohn's initial impression, the champ's preference was the former – even if that now has proven to be something Jones wants, but not until after he fights Teixeira.
"I think Jon is motivated to fight Gustafsson again to show everybody that he can fix all those mistakes," Winkeljohn said. "Gustafsson's got some mistakes to fix, as well. He's got to win the fight."