Earlier today, the UFC president went on a rant to reply to Paul’s most recent challenge. The boxer had dared White to make considerable changes to the UFC’s economic policies.
After questioning Paul’s intelligence, White suggested that the challenge was nothing but a stunt pulled by his manager Nakisa Bidarian.
Visibly angry, White mocked Bidarian for his looks: “The guy that’s standing in the middle with the warlock nose and the big wart on his face, apparently that’s his manager.”
White topped his rant off with a big revelation. It turns out that he and Bidarian have a history together: “That guy used to be an accountant for me. And let me say this, he no longer works for me, and I think he’s a scumbag.”
Who is Nakisa Bidarian?
Let’s just say that Dana White was selling it short when he said Bidarian used to be his accountant.
An Economics graduate at The University of Waterloo, Bidarian has a long-standing connection with the UFC. He’s close with Lorenzo Fertitta, former UFC CEO and childhood friend of Dana White.
Lorenzo and his brother Frank initially brought Bidarian to the UFC. In an interview with The University of Waterloo, Bidarian revealed that his appointment wasn’t a meditated career move at all.
“I got to know them through my time in Abu Dhabi, on the casino side of their businesses, and eventually joined them to work at the management company of Station Casinos.”
“Based on my skill set and background, the Fertitta brothers offered me an opportunity to work at UFC back in 2012, which I was thrilled to take on.”
Bidarian was the UFC’s Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Ventures until 2016. In January that year, he would be appointed as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). However, he only stayed until December of that year.
Once his UFC stint was over, Bidarian joined forces with the Fertitta brothers again. He became CEO for the brothers’ private investment firm, Fertitta Capital, where he stayed for three years.
In late 2019, Bidarian created BAVAFA Sports, a media and talent advisory firm that manages Jake Paul and Amanda Serrano, among others.
What does Dana White have against Jake Paul’s manager?
Bidarian has a history of not getting along with other UFC executives. In 2016, it was revealed that he was in a civil dispute with former UFC Executive VP Don Gold after things got physical during a pick-up basketball game.
Gold alleged to have suffered from permanent hearing loss and sustained injuries after the fight.
But it wasn’t a physical altercation that got Bidarian on White’s bad books.
In the end, it was just business. The UFC president was unhappy about Bidarian leaving the UFC after less than twelve months as CFO.
When the Fertitta brothers used their UFC sale money to form their investment firm, Nakisa Bidarian was immediately appointed as chief executive. It was a stab in the back for White, as Bidarian had been key in the UFC’s economic development in the 2010s.
Dana White’s snarky comments about Bidarian’s business expertise make a lot more sense now.