Monday, January 24, 2022

Jon Jones’ Advisor Isn’t Yet Convinced Ngannou/Lewis Is Next

Jon Jones’s new advisor Richard Schaefer isn’t quite ready to accept Francis Ngannou’s next opponent being anyone other than his new client.

Though pen has yet to be put to paper and make it official, UFC President Dana White has widely publicized that Francis Ngannou’s first heavyweight title defense will come against Derrick Lewis. But that was before Jon Jones went and got himself one of the best big-fight brokers in the combat sports world, Richard Schaefer.

Last week, it was revealed that Jones brought on Schaefer to serve as his advisor in a role that will extend past one fight. The first fight under this new union is particularly sought to be a biggie, featuring Jones challenging Ngannou for the heavyweight championship. Moreover, White’s previous declarations do not appear to be deterring Schaefer from exploring the possibility of this fight being next (transcription via Simon Samano).

“We’re gonna find out in the coming days and see what is done and what is not done,” Schaeffer said in an interview with MMA Today. “My philosophy going back into my boxing days: If you do have a mega-event (in front of you), I always try to get that mega-event done. Because if you allow for interim fights or other fights, you never know. A guy might lose, a guy might get injured. There just are so many question marks out there. My philosophy was always to deliver the biggest fights when they can get made.”

Dana White has also subscribed to the “save the money fight, minimize the risks” philosophy in the past, namely when Holly Holm opted to defend her title against Miesha Tate at UFC 196 instead of waiting for a rematch against Ronda Rousey as White had advised. White is now on the other side of the equation this time, with his heels firmly and publicly dug in on Ngannou vs. Lewis 2, even with a specific location for the fight being explored. Should Schaefer get White to reverse course, that would speak for just how warranted his reputation is and validate Jones’s decision to bring him on as an advisor.

What do you think the chances are that Dana White reverses course and books Ngannou vs. Jones instead of Ngannou vs. Lewis 2? 

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