You know what? Dana White knows how to make headlines.
Maybe the headlines aren't always good or helpful, but that's not important right now. What is important—very important—is that the president of the UFC told reporters today, according to a report from MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas, that he used to regularly get the better of Tito Ortiz when the two touched gloves in a boxing ring, back when the UFC was young and the two men were still willing to be in the same room together.
That would be the same Tito Ortiz who wore the UFC light heavyweight belt for more than three years beginning in 2000, the same year Zuffa, the company White helps lead, purchased the UFC.
"The reality is I used to beat the living s--t out of Tito Ortiz back when we first bought this company and we used to box," White said.
White was quick to note that he would have been out of luck against Ortiz under MMA rules, but the fact that he is claiming to have outboxed a professional fighter is still pretty eye-opening.
The comment was part of a wider line of discussion about White's famous amateur boxing match with Ortiz, which nearly went down before TV cameras in 2007. Late interference from the state athletic commission and Ortiz's failure to show up for the weigh-in, White said, scuttled the much-ballyhooed event.
For his part, White said he now regrets the whole thing.
"I'm not trying to sound like a tough guy and I don't talk about the thing a lot, but I was ready, in great shape and Tito bailed on that thing because Tito knew he was going to get his ass whooped on national television," White said. "...If I could go back in time, I wouldn't do it."
Nevertheless, White did make it pretty clear who he thought would have emerged victorious.
"He asked for a boxing match with me and I would've beat the living s--t out of Tito," White said. "And he knows it and that's why he didn't do it."
It's just the latest salvo in an ongoing feud between the outspoken ex-champ and the pugnacious promoter. Ortiz, who is now affiliated with the rival Bellator promotion, has been a particularly easy target of late. Among other indignities large and small, Ortiz is on the shelf with a purportedly very serious neck injury, and he was recently arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!