The name Richard Schaefer has been floating around the mixed martial arts (MMA) sphere the past few days after former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, hired him as his new advisor.
While some fight fans (and perhaps fighters alike) may not be too familiar with Schaefer, when he makes moves, good things happen in combat sports because he has been a pay-per-view (PPV) guru in the boxing world for nearly two decades, working with the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez, just to name a few.
As the former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Schaefer has been there and done that, which is the reason he is confident he can help “Bones” secure a bout against current Heavyweight champion, Francis Ngannou, after talks with UFC hit a wall. And while he won’t fully disclose exactly what he has planned for his upcoming meeting with Dana White and Co., he did reveal one secret to getting a big fight done:
“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 in an interview with “MMA Today” on Sirius XM (transcribed by MMA Junkie).
“These (big fights) don’t get done through the media and Twitter and Instagram and things like that,” he continued. “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.”
Indeed, Jones hasn’t been shy in venting his frustrations on Twitter, while White has been very vocal about failed negotiations with “Bones” in interviews. But, now that Schaefer has a meeting on the books with White, things will likely stay secret until something (if anything) gets done.
“That’s exactly what I just said. I’m gonna be meeting with them, we’re gonna sit down, and you’re not gonna hear from me a peep until such time when that peep is gonna be, ‘Guys, we have a fight,’” Schaefer said. “Anything between, like tweeting or messaging or talking, is just counterproductive, and I’m not gonna get caught up in that. That is exactly why I delivered the biggest fights there were in the last 15, 20 years in boxing.”
According to Schaefer, he only has one goal ahead of him and he will put all of his efforts into making it happen. And given his track record, things are looking up for Jones.
“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.
“It’s a matter of sitting down and seeing if we can structure a deal, which everybody can live with,” he continued. “I don’t know the MMA managers. I don’t know who the other MMA managers are. And I frankly don’t care. I have one task, which is to deliver to Jon that fight, and I’m gonna do whatever I can to do that based on my experience, based on my great relationship with Dana, and see if we can turn out what I think can be the biggest UFC pay-per-view event of all time.”
While still unofficial, White did recently reveal that the promotion is eyeing a title fight between Ngannou and Derrick Lewis for UFC 265 on Aug. 7. Whether or not that changes after White's meeting with Schaefer remains to be seen.