Dana White blasts De La Hoya, California for allowing Chuck Liddell to fight
UFC president Dana White on Tuesday blasted Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy Promotions and the California State Athletic Commission for their roles in last weekend's trilogy bout between formerly retired UFC legends Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.
Liddell, 48, came out of a nearly eight-year retirement to face his old rival Ortiz, 43, in a light heavyweight bout in Los Angeles. Ortiz scored a knockout victory in the final minute of the opening round. It was the seventh knockout loss of Liddell's storied career.
Speaking to UFC Unfiltered on Tuesday, White, who is a longtime friend of Liddell and encouraged him to retire in 2011, blasted De La Hoya for promoting the fight.
"Listen, I love Chuck Liddell and I don't ever want to badmouth Chuck Liddell or even let people think I'm remotely badmouthing Chuck Liddell," White said. "But the reality is, first of all, I heard last week the cokehead, 'Oscar De La Weirdo,' is talking s---, that I don't have any place to tell guys when to retire. It's called friendship.
"It's friendship, you f---ing cokehead. I've been friends with Chuck Liddell for 20 years and the reality is Chuck Liddell retired when he should have retired eight or nine years ago."
White then took aim at the California State Athletic Commission.
"Chuck Liddell is almost 50 years old and has no business fighting anymore. The fact the state of California let that fight happen is disgusting. It's disgusting," White said. "Chuck Liddell has an incredible legacy. He's a huge superstar. Anybody who claims to be a friend of Chuck Liddell and was anywhere near [that fight] is full of s---. They're not a friend of Chuck Liddell. To let him go in and fight this fight is terrible."
Saturday's pay-per-view event was the first time Golden Boy Promotions had ventured in mixed martial arts. De La Hoya did not attend the postfight news conference and has not publicly commented on the bout, other than saying "Golden Boy MMA was born today" on social media afterward.
Liddell has not indicated whether he intends to fight again. Ortiz announced his retirement immediately after his win over Liddell, and wishes to join Golden Boy Promotions as a promoter in future MMA events.
Liddell and Ortiz were involved in a heated rivalry at the peak of their careers. They fought in 2004 and 2006. Liddell won both fights via knockout.
Strong words from Dana White. Now I don't like Dana White too much, I respect the guy and what he's done for the UFC and MMA, he's a hell of a promoter/marketer....but I have to say MAD RESPECT for him calling out De la Hoya. I think Dana White really does care about the UFC old timers, he has some heart that guy.