Veteran fight promoters Oscar De La Hoya and Dana White have been at odds over the years. The tension between two, however, further grew upon De La Hoya’s recent venture into mixed martial arts in November, where he promoted the third fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.
“The Golden Boy” had always accused Dana White of not taking care of his fighters, in terms of compensation. In a recent appearance on ESPN’s First Take, he defended his decision to have Liddell come out of an eight-year retirement at 48 years of age, only to get knocked out for the fourth consecutive time.
“Why in the hell is Chuck Liddell still fighting at this age? Because Dana White doesn’t pay him enough. That’s why. So I have to come in and give him his biggest payday that he’s ever made.
“I’m not attacking him personally. If he wants to attack me personally, of what happened 15 years ago?
“Yes, I’ve done the work to be the person I am today,” he added. “And that’s a person that is clean, a good citizen of America. And that’s what I do. I’m working hard to build my business and to take care of my fighters. Are you doing the same?”
White, who went into great detail about UFC finances in an interview with Yahoo, appeared on First Take soon after, where he issued a usual fiery response.
“It’s one thing to sit around with your friends and lie. It’s another thing to go on ESPN and lie,” White said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “So here are the facts. I have paid Chuck Liddell more money over the years not to fight in the last seven years than he paid him to fight Tito Ortiz. That’s a fact, number one. From 2011 to 2017, when I asked Chuck Liddell to retire, we paid him around $400,000 a year to not fight.”
It did not take long for De La Hoya to get hold of White’s remarks, which made him decide to raise the stakes a little bit.
“Let’s get in the ring,” De La Hoya said on MMA on SiriusXM. “Yeah, why not? Let’s get in the ring. Three rounds, let’s do this.
“Let’s do this under Canelo Cinco de Mayo. I’ll even give you five months so you can get off the juice and then we can, you know, get in great shape and then we go three rounds, and then, I’m going to give you what, a 50-pound advantage? That’s okay, I can take you on. Let’s do it.”
It would be interesting to know how the 49-year-old White would respond to this callout, considering he was supposedly slated to fight Tito Ortiz in a boxing match in 2007. The fight ended up being cancelled after Ortiz backed out.