Jon Jones' Advisor Richard Schaefer Talks Francis Ngannou Negotiations with UFC

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 27, 2021

Dominick Reyes, left, and Jon Jones, right, during a light heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 247 Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
AP Photo/Michael Wyke

Richard Schaefer, who is the new advisor for ex-UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, spoke with ESPN's Marc Raimondi and expressed optimism that he can work out a deal for a bout between his client and heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou:

Marc Raimondi @marc_raimondi

Spoke today with Richard Schaefer, the new advisor for Jon Jones and former Golden Boy CEO. He seems pretty confident he can work something out with the UFC for a highly anticipated Jones vs. Ngannou fight. He and Dana White have a mutual respect.

Marc Raimondi @marc_raimondi

Schaefer said he believes Ngannou vs. Jones would be one of the top three biggest PPVs in UFC history. "If I could see one fight, that’s the fight I want to see. I do believe that today it’s the biggest fight UFC can make and it’s the biggest pay-per-view fight UFC can make."

UFC President Dana White is happy with Jones' decision to add Schaefer to his team.

“I like Richard Schaefer and I respect the guy,” White told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. “I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a real guy. He’s a guy who gets deals done.”

Jones is 26-1 with one no-contest, with his only loss occurring via disqualification (illegal downward elbows) against Matt Hamill in 2009. He successfully defended the UFC light heavyweight belt 11 times.

There's nothing more for Jones to prove in that division, and now he has set his sights on a move to heavyweight.

However, White said that Ngannou's first title defense after winning the belt off Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 in March will be against heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis. That fight will be in Houston and most likely occur in August. Therefore, a hypothetical Jones-Ngannou bout may not occur until 2022.

Plus, it appears Miocic will get a shot at the Ngannou-Lewis winner, with White saying as much on the "The Jake Asman Show" (h/t Nolan King of MMA Junkie).

Massive payday and heavyweight fights likely await Jones at some point, though, as the UFC's top pound-for-pound fighter looks toward his next challenges.