Earlier this week, former UFC light heavyweight champion retained the services of former Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer as his new advisor. This comes on the heels of Jones parting with his longtime representation by First Round Management, and though their relationship is reportedly a multi-fight deal, Schaefer’s first and most important role will be to help negotiate with the UFC regarding a potential superfight against heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
“There’s this big fight out there, the fight against Francis Ngannou,” Schaefer told SiriusXM’s Fight Nation. “That’s the fight everybody wants to see. That’s what fight fans want to see – not just UFC fans, fight fans period – and that’s really my task, to see if there’s a way to get that fight done and represent Jon Jones, the legend, against UFC, to see if we can get it done.”
Schaefer has a long and illustrious career in the fight game, having served as the head of Golden Boy Promotions for 15 years during which time he helped close some of the biggest fights in boxing history, working with marquee names like Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, and Canelo Alvarez. Perhaps more important for this situation though is Schaefer’s relationship with UFC President Dana White who gave the partnership his seal of approval this week, saying that Schaefer is “a guy that gets deals done.” That’s certainly what Schaefer says he’s going to attempt to do here, even if at the end of the day White may not exactly love the agreement they come to.
“Dana and me have a great relationship,” Schaefer said. “We respect each other. We’ve known each other for a long time. And I think you saw that yesterday with his comments, as well. I respect him, he respects me. I know the pay-per-view business as good as probably anyone, so does he. So it’s really a matter of finding some common ground, so we will be meeting soon to see if we can structure a deal that everybody can live with. It’s probably, at that level, at that space, in my experience from the boxing days where I did the Mayweather fights and the Canelo fights and so on, the best deals are usually those where nobody is really happy with (them) but everybody can live with. That’s really what I’m going to try to do.”
If Schaefer can help close the deal it would be a major victory for him as Jones and White do not have the best relationship. Jones has been battling with the UFC in the media for over a year now, airing his grievances over compensation and even asking to be released from his contract at one point. Meanwhile, White has continually thrown Jones under the bus and has all but already moved on from the Jones-Ngannou superfight in favor of giving a title shot to Derrick Lewis. However, Schaefer believes that with his vast experience in making deals, he will be able to set all grievances aside and hopefully, help Jones and the UFC put together the biggest PPV of all time.
“I think I understand the pay-per-view business better than most,” Schaefer said. “I know the different revenue streams probably better than most, because again, I have done millions and millions and millions of pay-per-view buys, promoted some of the biggest pay-per-view events of all time. So I know what the different revenue sources are and it’s a matter of sitting down and seeing if we can structure a deal which everybody can live with. I have one task which is to deliver to Jon that fight and I’m going to do whatever I can to do that based on my experience and based on my great relationship with Dana and see if it will turn into what I think can be the biggest UFC pay-per-view event of all time.”
Dealmaker. Dana White: Richard Schaefer is a ‘guy that gets deals done’ but ‘we will see’ if Jon Jones returns to fight again.
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The Man and the MITH. Two luminaries answering a variety of questions about the sport.
So Jon Jones has been world champion for a decade with two brothers in the NFL and is only just now “learning how to be a pro athlete”?
Absolutely not, I’m training more now than I ever did during my light heavyweight career. I’m actually learning how to be a pro athlete which is extremely exciting for me https://t.co/xfy2wSCd9W
— BONY (@JonnyBones) May 27, 2021
Check this out, I’ve been in @ufc 1,5 year (6:0) and been asking for different opponents since than. All of those “weirdos” ignore me like never heard my name! No one has ever engaged on any social media platform.
-Who?! Giga? Oh, I dont know who’s that guy
You all know #gigakick
— GIGA CHIKADZE (@giga_chikadze) May 27, 2021
Handesson Ferreira (15-3-1) v.s Amiran Gogoladze (11-1); UAE Warriors, June 19.
Quick programming note: there will be no Morning Report on Monday as it’s Memorial Day in the U.S. So thanks for reading and see y’all next Tuesday.