Khalil “Tiki” Ghosn was the unexpected star behind the scenes of UFC 279. The much anticipated event riled up Khamzat Chimaev who overreacted to the comments Kevin Holland had made about him ‘not being a real gangster’ and about shaving his beard.
Dana White pulled an unprecedented move earlier today after a series of backstage scuffles threatened to compromise the safety of everyone attending UFC 279 press conference.
White told the gathering, “This ain’t going to happen. I apologize, everybody. I am in very weird waters here. This has never happened in the history of this company.”
The real incident behind the scenes was prevented by Tiki Ghosn.
Tiki Ghosn is an MMA veteran with a career spanning 11 years. The Lebanese-born American s the owner of Arsenal Sports Agency now.
Tiki competed for many promotions in his career; most notable were UFC, World Extreme Cagefighting, Strikeforce and King of Cage. He competed mostly in the welterweight division, but he also had bouts in the lightweight division.
Tiki Ghosn has a long-time friendship with Dana White, and was among the first to join UFC when Dana White took charge. Tiki Ghosn was one of the four Dana White managed in his career before becoming UFC president.
He has 11 MMA wins in his career and seven losses, one no contest. Tiki debuted in UFC at UFC 24 event and suffered a defeat at the hands of Bob Cook. After that, he appeared four more times in the Octagon but could not get a win.
Although his career was not impressive, he is successfully at managing mixed martial artists. Tiki’s agency manages some elite competitors like former light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson and current no. 2 ranked featherweight, Yair Rodriguez.
The other notable client of Tiki is former three-time championship challenger Chael Sonnen. Tiki Ghosn was present at the press conference when the scuffle broke.
White heaped praises on Tiki for his role in managing things at the pre-event press conference for UFC 279. He said,
“If it wasn’t for Tiki, we would have been in trouble…. Tiki took a couple for the team and he’s not even on the team… Tiki took a couple of water bottles to the head, a couple of slaps, kicks. Thanks Tiki.”
As per Ariel Helwani longtime MMA athlete turned manager Tiki Ghosn was the one to break up the altercation. However Diaz’ crew would come in promptly and take offense to the fact Tiki was standing with Chimaev, at which point they allegedly started hurling plastic bottles at them. Chimaev was unaccompanied at the time. Tiki was hit but is in no danger.