UFC President Dana White did not mince words as he slammed Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya for staging last week's trilogy fight between UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.
Liddell, a former UFC light heavyweight champion who was encouraged to retire by White nearly a decade ago, suffered a first-round knockout loss to his longtime rival.
Liddell, 48, knocked out Ortiz, 43, in their previous two matches dating back to April 2004 and December 2006.
The loss marked the fourth consecutive fight that Liddell was knocked out, and the third in a row which resulted in him getting blasted within a round.
White, speaking on a recent edition of the UFC Unfiltered podcast, let it loose.
“Listen, I love Chuck Liddell, and I don’t ever want to badmouth Chuck Liddell. People do think I’m badmouthing Chuck Liddell, but the reality is, first of all, let's say this first, I heard last week that the cokehead, ‘Oscar Del La Weirdo’ is talking sh*t, that I don’t have any place to tell guys when to retire. First of all, it’s called friendship you f***ing cokehead. I’ve been friends with Chuck Liddell for 20 years, and the reality is that Chuck Liddell retired when he should’ve retired, eight or nine years ago whenever it was," White stated (transcript via MMANYTT.com).
"Chuck Liddell is 50-years-old and has no business fighting anymore, and that fact that the State of California even let that fight happen is disgusting, it’s disgusting. Chuck Liddell is a huge superstar and has a great legacy in this sport. So of course, as a friend, anyone that claims to be a friend of Chuck Liddell and was anywhere near this fight is full of sh*t. They aren’t a friend of Chuck Liddell. To let him go in and fight this fight. It’s terrible.
“The problem is Chuck Liddell was a fighter, Chuck Liddell loves to fight, and that’s his passion in life. But there comes a day and age. Fighting is a young mans’ game. He can’t do it, and Oscar Del La f***ing Hoya says ‘oh come over to Golden Boy where we respect the fighters, and it makes me sick what the fighters were paid’ and all this sh*t. Out of 14 fights on the card, five fights were amateur bouts which means they didn’t pay them jack sh*t
“12 of the professional fighters on the card made less than $3k and $3k. What are you talking about you cokehead junkie? Some of the guys made $1k and $1k, and he says that he respects the fighters so much? He couldn’t even remember their names at the press conference.
"I hope someone talks De La Hoya into fighting again, and I hope the State of California makes the fight, and I hope he gets knocked out just like Chuck Liddell did. In the first round. The cokehead nutball. Tito and Oscar Del La Dummy were made for each other. Those two f***ing nut heads. First of all, Tito said ‘You guys want to get paid? Come over to Golden Boy MMA.’ Are you kidding me? Hey, you wait my brother, you wait to see how all this pans out. Everybody is going to be suing everybody in a couple of months. There was no money made over there. Del La Hoya is a moron. An absolute moron and I don’t know how Chuck allowed himself to get talked into this sh*t.”
De La Hoya, who won world titles in six different weight classes, including the lineal championship in three weight classes in a 16-year professional boxing career, ventured into MMA partially because he was upset at their pay structure, telling reporters that it made him "sick to his stomach."
Liddell got the highest purse on the card with $250,000, while Ortiz banked $200,000. However, Ortiz received no win bonus despite icing "The Iceman" in the first round. The event was the first MMA card promoted by De La Hoya.