This past weekend (Sat., Nov. 24, 2018), Oscar de la Hoya staged the inaugural event for his upstart Golden Boy MMA promotion, which featured a trilogy fight between former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champions, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
Ortiz exacted revenge on “The Iceman” after previously suffering two knockout losses at the hands of the now 48-year-old fighter, turning his lights off in round one in what was a rather tepid affair (see it again here). Afterward, the mixed martial arts (MMA) community took to Twitter to heavily-criticize the bout.
Chael Sonnen also had a problem with the fight, too, even long before it started.
“A tremendous lesson to learn from the Tito and Chuck disaster. Oscar is not passionate about mixed martial arts, and that was very clear and very obvious,” Sonnen stated on social media (via MMA Junkie). “And when it comes to storytelling and building anticipation, you cannot just set up a ring, and the rest of it takes care of itself. I’ve heard fighters threaten that they were going to leave a promotion and start their own promotion. Go ahead. Go right ahead. That’s essentially what we saw here,” he added.
Sonnen won’t go as far as saying “The Golden Boy” — who has promoted numerous world championship boxing matches — is a bad promoter, he just needs to know when to stay in his lane.
“So, Chuck and Tito come together, go to Oscar, pitch him on an idea that Oscar was never passionate about, he was never behind, with a story that he simply did not know how to tell. It doesn’t make Oscar a bad promoter. The lesson to learn in this is: You got to stay in your lane.”
Still, de la Hoya isn’t giving up hope just yet, deeming his first MMA event a success and vowing to move forward with the helping hand of the once again retired Ortiz. And don’t be surprised if you see “The Iceman” fighting for the promotion one more time.