I think it’s fair to say that Jon Jones did a pretty lousy job of negotiating with UFC.
That’s not to suggest “Bones” doesn’t deserve the payday he was asking for, but when it comes to subtle art of persuasion, calling your boss a liar and demanding an immediate release probably isn’t the surest path to success.
That’s why Jones is calling in the big guns.
“I have retained Richard Schaefer as my advisor,” Jones wrote on Twitter (transcribed by Damon Martin). “Richard has been in the combat sports space for over 20 years and has put together some of the biggest pay-per-view events over that period. The likes of [Floyd] Mayweather, [Oscar] De La Hoya, ‘Canelo’ [Alvarez], [Bernard] Hopkins, [Marco Antonio] Barrera and [Juan Manuel] Marquez have headlined exciting events that Richard has promoted and produced.”
Schaefer, former Golden Boy CEO, has an extensive background in both finance and real estate and has helped put together some of the biggest pay-per-view (PPV) cards in the history of the “sweet science.”
“His knowledge and experience of the pay-per-view industry and combat sports are second to none,” Jones continued. “I am excited to embark on this next chapter of my career as I continue to cement my place in history as one of the greats with Richard as my advisor. I can’t wait to give my fans and the sport the fights they want to see.”
Jones surrendered his light heavyweight title back in late 2020 and was expected to make his heavyweight debut against Francis Ngannou later this year; however, “Bones” was unable to find a middle ground when it came to negotiating a price tag.
Schaefer doesn’t sound too worried.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to work with such an amazing athlete and person like Jon Jones,” Schaeffer said. “Jon is the gold standard of UFC and one of the greatest athletes to ever dominate his or her respective sport. As he has proven time and again, there is no challenge too great or opponent too difficult... I am looking forward to sitting down with Dana White and his team on behalf of Jon to put together the fights the fans want to see.”
With Jones out of action for the remainder of the year, the promotion will send Ngannou into battle opposite top heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis, with the winner expected to defend against Stipe Miocic in early 2022.