Jake Paul’s business partner and co-promoter at Most Valuable Promotions Nakisa Bidarian has responded to UFC president Dana White‘s reaction to Paul’s scheduled bout with Hasim Rahman Jr. being cancelled.
The entire card that was scheduled for this Saturday at Madison Square Garden was scratched after Rahman allegedly had weight cutting issues and wouldn’t make the contracted weight limit of 200 pounds — which was then changed to 205 pounds this past Friday, according to a statement from MVP, and subsequently confirmed by Paul.
The cancellation happened in the middle of Saturday’s UFC 277 event in Dallas. At the post-fight press conference, White believed that the card being scratched had less to do with Rahman’s weight cut, and more to do with lackluster ticket sales — while taking a shot at Nakisa Bidarian, who previously served as Chief Financial Officer for the UFC.
“I’m not going to sit up here and be happy or gloat that their fight fell out,” White said. “Both those guys I’m sure put in a lot of hard work and a lot of training to get ready for this fight, spent money to get ready for this fight.
“I will say this, just because you were an accountant here doesn’t mean you know what the f*** goes on here. It doesn’t mean you can run a fight promotion company.
“I think that Jake Paul probably needs to get some different people around him. If he’s going to stay in the sport, he needs to be with guys that really know how to put on fights.”
On Tuesday, Bidarian took to social media to release a short video giving his response to the cancellation, and what he believes are false narratives being created.
“Had zero to do with ticket sales,” Bidarian said on his Instagram story. “We already sold more tickets, more gate than Ryan Garcia just did at Staples Center. We were going to be top-10 in gates since 2005 at MSG.
“Jake Paul was taking a big challenge. All of his fights have been from about 188 to 191 pounds, and all of his opponents — outside Nate Robinson — have been plus or minus one to two pounds of him. That’s all it is.”
Despite how White, or anybody else feels about Paul’s entry into the sport of boxing, Paul has certainly generated mainstream interest, headlining three events in 2021 where he picked up a pair of wins over former UFC champ Tyron Woodleyand a knockout victory over former UFC welterweight Ben Askren.
Bidarian ended his video with high praise for Paul, and a sarcastic shot at White.
“They can try and change the narrative, they can try to destroy what this young man has done,” Bidarian explained. “I’m proud of him. He’s his own boss. He’s his own promoter, and I’m just an accountant. What’s up?”