Richard Schaefer doesn’t agree with Francis Ngannou’s choice to half methods with the UFC.
Over the weekend, UFC President Dana White revealed the promotion was unable to return to phrases with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and could be reducing ties with “The Predator.” As a substitute, former gentle heavyweight champion Jon Jones will now struggle former interim champion Ciryl Gane for the now-vacant heavyweight strap at UFC 285. As Jones’ present profession advisor, Schaefer, the 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’s a terrific athlete and I feel he has some large fights forward of him and I personally assume, simply my feeling, that he made a mistake not figuring out his take care of UFC,” Schaefer instructed Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “However it’s his choice. 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 struggle the winner of this struggle, to struggle Jon after he beats Ciryl. So we’ll transfer on and maintain doing the perfect combating the perfect, the perfect which can be found.”
Whereas Ngannou’s departure from the UFC was sudden, it’s not completely surprising. 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 many 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 or not it was this particular level that finally led Ngannou to move up profitable provides from the UFC remains to be unknown, however Schaefer actually hopes this wasn’t the blocker.
“Possibly he was a giant star in UFC, however did he actually transcend the UFC?” Schaefer stated. “I don’t know. I don’t know sufficient. I feel he’s a terrific athlete, I feel he’s very charismatic as nicely, I’m a fan of his, so I want him all the perfect. I simply hope he’s not going to enter boxing, however that he’s going to seek out no matter large fights he’s searching for…
“I want that struggle followers, sports activities followers, would lastly perceive, you probably have an MMA athlete go and compete in opposition to 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 you probably have a boxer go and compete in an octagon, the MMA man, underneath MMA guidelines, the MMA guys goes to win. It’s two completely different sports activities and I don’t see in any approach, form, or type, that Francis Ngannou may go and beat a Deontay Wilder or a Tyson Fury or an Oleksandr Usyk…
“So if that’s the case, why do I have to see it? Why do I have to pay $80 or $100 to see a struggle after I know who’s going to win? I’m not occupied with that.”
What comes subsequent for Ngannou isn’t sure, however what he’s abandoning is: one of many greatest superfights in MMA historical past. For over two years, Ngannou and Jones have postured for a possible matchup and had Ngannou chosen to re-sign with the UFC, by all accounts that may have been the following struggle for each males. As a substitute, Ngannou-Jones now joins the listing of Most Wished bouts that by no means have been. However whereas followers could lament what was misplaced, Schaefer says he and Jones are strictly centered on what’s to return.
“I don’t assume there’s disappointment,” Schaefer stated. “You form of transfer on and that’s what it’s. One can by no means say by no means. Who is aware of what the long run holds? [Jon] is concentrated on this struggle. It’s a giant struggle. I do consider that these are the 2 finest heavyweights combating one another and it’s a large struggle, in order that’s what the main focus is. You possibly can’t go and cry over what may have been or issues like that.
“For no matter cause, Francis determined to step apart. I respect that and want him all the perfect. And who is aware of if down the highway that struggle goes to occur? I personally assume that Ciryl, together with his talent set and his youth and so forth is a much bigger struggle. It’s a much bigger struggle that Francis would have been. Actually extra of a problem, and I feel it simply reveals you ways decided Jon Jones is to turn into heavyweight champion. For him it was by no means, ‘Oh, I’m not going to struggle this man or I’m not going to struggle that man.’ For him it was, ‘I don’t actually care. I need to struggle for the heavyweight world title. Simply carry whoever it’s.’ That’s why he’s the GOAT. That’s what GOATs do.”
UFC 285 takes place on March 4 on the T-Cellular Enviornment in Las Vegas.