Former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer is the lead advisor for Jon Jones and has shared a timeline for the return of the former 205-pound king.
Richard Schaefer is a well-known boxing promoter and the executive now responsible for negotiating on behalf of Jones. The prominent businessman is said to have brokered hundreds of boxing deals. While an agreement has yet to be struck with the UFC superstar, Schaefer has stressed that moving up to heavyweight for Jones is a meticulously planned project.
Recently, Jones posted a video on Instagram showing him pound through a leg workout.
Fans have not witnessed “Bones” draped in black and gold since February of last year. Many are starting to wonder if Jones will ever make his highly anticipated move to the heavyweight division. Featured on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Schaefer clarified the intentions of the former champion.
“He was very clear from the very beginning: He wants to fight for the heavyweight championship. And so I sat down with Dana, with Hunter. And first, they tried maybe to do a comeback fight, or an interim fight, or this or that,” Schaefer revealed.
Richard Schaefer Expands On Jon Jones Negotiations
When asked about the potential date we might see Jones back in the Octagon, Schaefer explained that the 34-year-old won’t be available for a 2021 return, despite initial hopes.
“First, we were thinking about maybe November or December, but he really then felt that he wants to train. He’s the ultimate professional. I mean, I honestly have only seen once an athlete which is so structured and so strategic in his training, and that’s Floyd Mayweather. And I think that’s why they both are the GOATs. Richard Schaefer said. One is the GOAT of boxing; the other one is the GOAT of MMA. They go about it in a very strategic manner.”
With an emphasis on bulking up in the correct manner, the boxing executive acknowledged that the accolades of Jones are not by happenstance. Schaefer also shared that Jones is already 260 pounds and has a goal of reaching 275 pounds before all is said and done.
“So he said, ‘Look, I’m not gonna be ready in November or December. I want to bulk up. I want to bulk up in a smart way, in a strategic way, not just gain weight and be a big heavyweight. I want to gain the right weight.
By the way, I talked to him yesterday. He’s 260 pounds now…260 muscle, strong, explosive. Schaefer continued. And his goal is to go to 275 and basically be the biggest and baddest heavyweight the UFC has ever seen.”
The world has been waiting patiently for the former champ’s Octagon return, especially since Francis Ngannou began his heavyweight title reign by defeating Stipe Miocic. After negotiations for the megafight stalled, the UFC moved on quickly by offering Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane an opportunity to fight for an interim title at UFC 265. With Gane now the interim titleholder, he is expected to face Ngannou in early 2022. And it sounds like a bigger, badder Jon Jones may be awaiting the winner.