Jon Jones has found new representation as he continues to negotiate with the UFC on his next fight.
The former light heavyweight champion has retained former Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer as his new advisor after previously working with First Round Management, a high-profile agency led by brother tandem Malki and Abe Kawa.
“I have retained Richard Schaefer as my advisor,” Jones wrote in a statement released on Twitter. “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.
“His knowledges and experience of the pay-per-view industry and combat sports are second to none. 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.”
While Jones has actually conducted his own negotiations for his past couple of fights with the UFC, it appears he’s going to lean on Schaefer to handle more of that role with the promotion as he seeks to return to action.
Jones is expected to compete as a heavyweight when he books his next fight but contentious relations with the UFC have kept him sidelined since February 2020.
The former champion has butted heads with UFC president Dana White on numerous occasions regarding negotiations for his heavyweight debut, which was supposed to come later this year in a fight against new champion Francis Ngannou. Due to the two sides being unable to come to an agreement, Jones is still out of action while Ngannou is now expected to face Derrick Lewis this summer.
As for Jones’ new advisor, Schaefer was born and raised in Switzerland and he previously worked as the manager of the Swiss Bank office in Los Angeles before eventually becoming the head of operations for the entirety of the western part of the United States.
In 2000, Schaefer gave up his career in finance to join Oscar De La Hoya in his new venture with Golden Boy promotions where they built an impressive stable of athletes while putting on some of the biggest cards in boxing history.
He split with Golden Boy in 2014 and since that time, he’s worked in real estate ventures as well as founding his own boxing promotional company called Ringstar Sports. Schaefer remains a major player in the sport of boxing where he’s primarily put his focus over the years.
Now it appears he will crossover to mixed martial arts while advising Jones on the next steps in his career.
“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. His journey from being the youngest UFC champion in history to becoming the undisputed and undefeated GOAT has entertained and awed fans for many years. His incredible skills and unbelievable fight IQ make him the most dangerous man on the planet.
“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.”
Just one day ago, Jones teased that he might not actually return to the cage until 2022 as he continues to get his body ready to fight at heavyweight as negotiations with the UFC continued. With Schaefer now helping Jones as an advisor, it appears he’s a little more confident a deal might get struck for him to fight again in 2021.
“If things go well in negotiations, yes,” Jones answered to a fan asking if he might return this year.
For what it’s worth, White has actually praised Schaefer in the past while calling him the “brains” behind Golden Boy promotions with De La Hoya as only the face of the company.