UFC's Jon Jones hires veteran boxing promoter Richard Schaefer as adviser

Former UFC champion Jon Jones has enlisted veteran boxing promoter Richard Schaefer as a representative, he announced via social media on Wednesday.

Jones, 33, is one of the most dominant fighters in UFC history, although he has not fought since February 2020. A former light heavyweight champion, Jones vacated his UFC title last August in preparation of a move to heavyweight, but he and the promotion have been unable to come to terms on a title fight between Jones and current title holder Francis Ngannou.

In April, Jones and his former representatives at First Round Management announced they had parted ways.

"I have retained Richard Schaefer as my advisor," Jones wrote on Instagram. "Richard has been in the combat space for over 20 years and has put together some of the biggest global 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 the exciting events that Richard has produced. His knowledge 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."

A former Swiss banker, Schaefer is best known in the boxing world as the former CEO and co-founder of Golden Boy Promotions, where he served as an executive for more than 10 years alongside De La Hoya. That partnership ended in 2014, and ultimately led to a court settlement the following year over allegations made by De La Hoya of breach of fiduciary duty.

Schaefer went on to found his own boxing promotion, Ringstar Sports, in 2016. This partnership with Jones is his first high-profile foray into mixed martial arts.

"It's an honor and a privilege to be able to work with such an amazing athlete and person like Jon Jones," said Schaefer, in a statement released by Jones. "Jon is the gold standard of UFC and one of the greatest athletes to ever dominate his or her sport ... I am looking forward to sitting down with [UFC president] Dana White and his team on behalf of Jon to put together the fights the fans want to see."

White told ESPN he has nothing but respect for Schaefer, who he's willing to work with in an effort to book Jones in a future fight.

"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," said White.

"The way I look at the Jon Jones thing, if he shows and wants to fight, cool. Excellent. But if he doesn't, he's had a damn good career and there's nothing wrong with going out on top."

Earlier this year, White publicly stated Jones (26-1) would face the winner of a heavyweight title fight between Ngannou (16-3) and Stipe Miocic at UFC 260. Immediately after Ngannou won, Jones took to Twitter with the simple words, "Show me the money."

In multiple interviews since, White has said Jones is demanding an unrealistic amount of money to face Ngannou and the promotion intends to move on with a heavyweight title fight between Ngannou and Derrick Lewis. For his part, Ngannou has made it clear he'd prefer to face Jones next.

Jones, who fights out of Albuquerque, became the youngest champion in UFC history when he first won a title at age 23 in 2011. He dominated the division from his UFC debut in 2008 to 2020, although he also lost his title multiple times due to disciplinary reasons. His only loss came via a highly controversial disqualification in 2009.