On Wednesday, the former light heavyweight champion announced a new relationship with ex-Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who will now be working with Jones in an advisory role when it comes to his fight career. Schaefer is well known in the boxing industry after helping to make Golden Boy a massive promotion while working with fighters such as Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
Now Schaefer will take his first stab at mixed martial arts while representing Jones, who has remained at odds with the UFC for the past year after announcing his plans to fight at heavyweight yet being unable to come to terms with the promotion on a new deal for his next fight.
For his part, White has always maintained a good relationship with Schaefer but he hasn’t sat down at the negotiating table yet with him either.
“I like Richard Schaefer,” White told Yahoo Sports. “I respect the guy, known him for a long time. He’s a real guy. He’s a guy that gets deals done so we will see.
“Listen, this is the way I look at Jon Jones — if he shows up, that’s awesome. If he doesn’t show up, he’s had a great run, he can go out on top and it’s not a bad thing either.”
White has been adamant that he’s not going to be brokenhearted if Jones decides to never fight again as he hasn’t been on the same page with the fighter he routinely calls the “greatest of all time” while locked in a battle over his pay demands.
While Jones returning for a showdown with new UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou would appear to be one of the biggest fights the promotion could possibly book right now, White says the circumstances surrounding that matchup are far different than other megafights he’s attempted to book in the past.
As much as White attempted to move mountains in order to make that fantasy fight a reality, it still didn’t come together. He looks at Jones as a much different situation while seemingly referencing the multitude of issues Jones has had outside the cage that likely prevented him from achieving more with his career.
“I’ve been doing the Jon Jones thing for like 10 years. I know how this thing works,” White said. “Jon Jones is a different animal. If I came to a deal with Brock Lesnar and Fedor [Emelianenko] at the time, both these guys wanted to fight each other, they wanted to go out and compete, whatever, that’s not Jon. Jon’s one of those guys that could have had blown this sport open. He could have had a Nike deal where he had shoes with Nike for the next 25, 30 years after he retired and stuff like that. I don’t know.
“I get excited when I know Jon is really coming in and he’s going to fight so I kind of set myself up for if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. Jon Jones could go out on top, if he called tomorrow and said ‘I retire,’ I wouldn’t be shocked. I wouldn’t be devastated. I’d say good for him. If Jon Jones calls tomorrow and says I want to fight tomorrow, ‘I want Stipe [Miocic],’ let’s make it and let’s get it going.”