Contract Negotiation MMA Sports Business Ultimate Fighting

Jon Jones Hires Richard Schaefer as New Advisor

Former UFC Lightweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones has hired Richard Schaefer as his advisor. The hire comes after the news of Jones severing his relationship with his longtime representation, First Round Management. The Malki Kawa-owned management service represented Jones for 11 years and through numerous controversies both in and out of the Octagon. The new relationship with Schaefer is reportedly a deal to last for multiple fights.

Jon Jones has been entangled in a contract dispute with the UFC anticipating his move to the Heavyweight Division to fight recently crowned champion Francis Ngannou. Contract disputes are not a rare occurrence between Jones and the UFC. Jones often takes to social media to cast his displeasures in how little UFC fighters, especially himself, are paid for their efforts in the cage. While that isn’t an unpopular opinion by any stretch, Jones is one of the few fighters to take action. He is known to hold out on signing the dotted line until his terms are met, specifically wages to be earned. Most UFC athletes are not afforded such luxuries. However, the currently #1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter has created an undeniable legend in the sport to allow him certain negotiating powers.

Richard Schaefer is no stranger to the fight game. Having served as CEO of Golden Boy Promotions for 15 years, he assisted in securing some of the most illustrious fights in boxing history. He’s worked with boxing legends like Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, and Canelo Alvarez. Almost more notably, Schaefer has had a positive, long-standing relationship with UFC President Dana White. When asked by reporter Brett Okamoto to comment on Schaefer becoming the new representation for Jones, Dana replied, “I like Richard, I’ve known Richard for a long time and obviously, he built Golden Boy. He built that company. He knows what he’s doing, he’s a smart guy. I like and respect him and if we can get something done we will.”

Schaefer closing a deal with White would be a massive win as Jon and Dana have had a particularly problematic relationship over the years. Still, the task at hand is no trivial matter. Dana and the UFC have shown more and more favor towards giving the title shot to the #2 ranked contender in the Division, Derrick Lewis. After the public feuding between Jones and the UFC media and White, the introduction of Richard Schaefer into the negotiations may be the strongest, and last, hope at signing a deal to give Jones the next shot for the Heavyweight title. Securing the Heavyweight belt would be instrumental in establishing Jones’ legacy as one of, if not the best fighter of all time. 

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