Despite Jon Jones bringing in former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer as his new adviser, UFC president Dana White still isn’t sure we’ll ever see ‘Bones’ compete in the Octagon again.
Jones announced a new partnership deal with Schaefer earlier this week and, although White has a tremendous amount of respect for the latter, he’s not convinced the promotional guru will be able to perform any miracles regarding Jones’ next fight.
“I like Richard Schaefer,” White told Yahoo Sports. “I respect the guy, known him for a long time. He’s a real guy. He’s a guy that gets deals done so we will see.
“Listen, this is the way I look at Jon Jones — if he shows up, that’s awesome. If he doesn’t show up, he’s had a great run, he can go out on top and it’s not a bad thing either.”
Jones, 33, has been unable to reach a deal with the UFC since vacating the light heavyweight title last year and White thinks it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the former light heavyweight champ and current pound-for-pound No. 1 to retire on top.
“I’ve been doing the Jon Jones thing for like 10 years. I know how this thing works,” White said. “Jon Jones is a different animal. If I came to a deal with Brock Lesnar and Fedor [Emelianenko] at the time, both these guys wanted to fight each other, they wanted to go out and compete, whatever, that’s not Jon. Jon’s one of those guys that could have had blown this sport open. He could have had a Nike deal where he had shoes with Nike for the next 25, 30 years after he retired and stuff like that. I don’t know.
“I get excited when I know Jon is really coming in and he’s going to fight so I kind of set myself up for if he doesn’t, he doesn’t. Jon Jones could go out on top, if he called tomorrow and said ‘I retire,’ I wouldn’t be shocked. I wouldn’t be devastated. I’d say good for him. If Jon Jones calls tomorrow and says I want to fight tomorrow, ‘I want Stipe [Miocic],’ let’s make it and let’s get it going.”
Jones is adamant that he wants to challenge Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight title next, but White claims Derrick Lewis is more deserving of a title shot. Jones has been bulking up to heavyweight for the past year in a bid to become a two-weight champ, but White feels the latter is better suited at 205 pounds and would prefer to see Jones reclaim the light heavyweight title.
Bloody Elbow will keep you updated as this story develops.