Richard Schaefer has formally joined Team Jon Jones as an advisor, and will negotiate with the UFC on his behalf.
Schaefer is the former longtime CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, led by Oscar De La Hoya, and has years of experience in the fight business. He teams up with Jones a month after the Albuquerque native parted ways with First Round Management, who represented him for 11 years.
Partnership With Jones
“When I sat down with him, I was really impressed how articulate he was, how well he came across, just his thought process and everything,” Schaefer said. “I really felt this is the kind of guy I’d like to work with.”
Jones was offered a title fight with Francis Ngannou, after he beat Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 to win the heavyweight crown, but ‘Bones’ declined it, demanding a bigger payday. Schaefer said that his task is to strike the right deal for his client, because a fight between the two MMA titans is what the world wants to see.
“There’s this big fight out there, the fight against Francis Ngannou,” Schaefer said. “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, is 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.”
Relationship With Dana White
Dana White recently gave his thoughts on Jones’ partnership with Schaefer, complimenting the 59 year old for the work he has done throughout his career. The former Golden Boy CEO also said that he respects the UFC president, and the two will meet soon.
“Dana and me have a great relationship. 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,” Schaefer said. “I respect him; he respects me. I know the pay-per-view business as good as probably anyone; so does he. 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.”
Negotiating With The UFC
Jones and Dana have gone back-and-forth in the last few months, with the former light heavyweight champion slamming him on social media, and the UFC boss responding through various interviews. That’s something Schaefer won’t do, as he plans to negotiate with the promotion’s bigwigs behind closed doors.
“When you start negotiating fights in the media, and people are starting to dig in their heels and say, ‘Well, this is too much,’ and people who maybe even aren’t supposed to talk are throwing out crazy numbers, which didn’t even come from the athlete himself, and people are getting pissed off at each other, that’s not the way you get deals done,” Schaefer said. “These [big fights] don’t get done through the media and Twitter and Instagram and things like that. They get done by professionals sitting down at the table talking about the different revenue streams and negotiating a deal. … That’s really the problem, because otherwise things get out of hand.”
Do you think Richard Schaefer can help Jon Jones strike a deal with the UFC?