Dana White Slams Oscar De La Hoya for Chuck Liddell-Tito Ortiz Fight

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

Dana White, president of the UFC, speaks at a news conference after the UFC 229 mixed martial arts event Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Las Vegas. A brawl broke out after the main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor when Nurmagomedov climbed over the cage and set off a scuffle with another fighter in McGregor's corner. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

UFC President Dana White unloaded on both Oscar De La Hoya and the California State Athletic Commission for sanctioning Chuck Liddell's fight with Tito Ortiz this past Saturday in Inglewood, California.

White offered his thoughts during the most recent episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast (h/t ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto):

"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. 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--t. They're not a friend of Chuck Liddell. To let him go in and fight this fight is terrible."

White also took issue with comments made by De La Hoya in which the former boxer said it wasn't White's place to tell a fighter when he should retire:

"But the reality is, first of all, I heard last week the cokehead, 'Oscar De La Weirdo,' is talking s--t, that I don't have any place to tell guys when to retire. It's called friendship. It's friendship, you f--king 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."

Liddell and Ortiz headlined a card created by De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions. Ortiz won by knocking out Liddell in four minutes, 24 seconds.

Going into the event, many questioned whether Liddell would be up for it. He's 48 years old and had been retired for a little over eight years. And even before retiring, he had dropped four straight fights.

Liddell's performance did nothing to silence those critics. He was a clear step slower than Ortiz and managed little offense before Ortiz sent him to the canvas with a straight right hand.

Luke Thomas @lthomasnews

No one is going to give Dana White credit. He also wasn't the only one saying this. He also lets many fighters who shouldn't compete the ability to do do. But he was also right. Liddell should've stopped June 12, 2010.

Ben Fowlkes @benfowlkesMMA

That was ugly. Time will do a number on you, even a once great fighter like Chuck Liddell. I guess the best thing I can say is ... could've been worse?

Andy Foster, the California State Athletic Commission's executive officer, suggested to MMA Fighting's Marc Raimondi the commission cleared Liddell to fight because it thought he'd be more competitive in the cage against Ortiz. Foster also cited Liddell's previous two wins over Ortiz in their head-to-head meetings, the most recent of which was in 2006.

White's tirade toward De La Hoya notwithstanding, he largely hit the nail on the head regarding Liddell. The former light heavyweight champion was clearly declining toward the end of his UFC career, and his lengthy layoff wasn't going to make things any better.

At least the definitive nature of his knockout at the hands of Ortiz should preclude Liddell from pursuing another fight.