Jon Jones advisor Richard Schaefer: Francis Ngannou ‘made a mistake’ by not re-signing with UFC

Richard Schaefer does not agree with Francis Ngannou’s determination to half methods with the UFC.

Over the weekend, UFC President Dana White revealed that the promotion was unable to come back to phrases with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and could be slicing ties with “The Predator.” Instead, former gentle heavyweight champion Jon Jones will now combat former interim champion Cyril Gane for the now-vacant heavyweight strap at UFC 285. As Jones’ present profession advisor, Schaefer, the longtime boxing promoter and former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, spoke in regards to the latest flip of occasions, suggesting that Ngannou made a mistake by not re-signing with the UFC.

“I feel he is a terrific athlete and I feel he has some large fights forward of him and I personally suppose, simply my feeling, that he made a mistake not figuring out his deal with UFC,” Schaefer instructed Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “But it is his determination. That’s what he’s doing and the world goes on, and UFC goes on. There’s going to be different large fights and there are different heavyweights lined as much as combat the winner of this combat, to combat Jon after he beats Ciryl. So we’ll transfer on and preserve doing one of the best combating one of the best, one of the best which can be found.”

While Ngannou’s departure from the UFC was sudden, it is not fully sudden. The heavyweight champion was outspoken in his many points with the promotion, together with the pay, the management, and the dearth of respect he felt from the corporate. One of the main sticking factors for Ngannou when it got here to re-signing with the UFC was the choice to pursue superfights in boxing, significantly one with heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. Whether it was this particular level that in the end led Ngannou to cross up profitable provides from the UFC continues to be unknown, however Schaefer actually hopes this wasn’t the blocker.

“Maybe he was a large star within the UFC, however did he actually transcend the UFC?” Schaefer mentioned. “I do not know. I do not know sufficient. I feel he is a terrific athlete, I feel he is very charismatic as effectively, I’m a fan of his, so I want him all one of the best. I simply hope he is not going to enter boxing, however that he will discover no matter large fights he is on the lookout for…

“I want that combat followers, sports activities followers, would lastly perceive, if in case you have an MMA athlete go and compete towards a boxer in a boxing ring, the boxer goes to win,” Schaefer continued, explaining his disdain for the boxing transfer. “There’s simply no query about it. And if in case you have a boxer go and compete in an octagon, the MMA man, underneath MMA guidelines, the MMA guys are going to win. It’s two completely different sports activities and I do not see in any approach, form, or type, that Francis Ngannou might go and beat a Deontay Wilder or a Tyson Fury or an Oleksandr Usyk…

“So if that’s the case, why do I must see it?” Why do I must pay $80 or $100 to see a combat after I know who’s going to win? I’m not excited about that.”

What comes subsequent for Ngannou is not sure, however what he is forsaking is: one of many greatest superfights in MMA historical past. For over two years, Ngannou and Jones have postured for a potential matchup and had Ngannou chosen to re-sign with the UFC, by all accounts that will have been the following combat for each males. Instead, Ngannou-Jones now joins the listing of Most Wanted bouts that by no means had been. But whereas followers might lament what was misplaced, Schaefer says he and Jones are strictly centered on what’s to come back.

“I do not suppose there’s disappointment,” Schaefer mentioned. “You kind of transfer on and that is what it’s. One can by no means say by no means. Who is aware of what the longer term holds? [Jon] is concentrated on this combat. It’s a large combat. I do imagine that these are the 2 greatest heavyweights combating one another and it is a large combat, so that is what the main target is. You cannot go and cry over what might have been or issues like that.

“For no matter purpose, Francis determined to step apart. I respect that and need him all one of the best. And who is aware of if down the highway that combat goes to occur? I personally suppose that Cyril, with his ability set and his youth and so forth, is a greater combat. It’s a greater combat that Francis would have had. Certainly extra of a problem, and I feel it simply reveals you the way decided Jon Jones is to develop into heavyweight champion. For him it was by no means, ‘Oh, I’m not going to combat this man or I’m not going to combat that man.’ For him it was, ‘I do not actually care. I need to combat for the heavyweight world title. Just convey whoever it’s.’ That’s why he is the GOAT. That’s what GOATs do.”

UFC 285 takes place on March 4 on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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