UFC President (now CEO), Dana White, and former Light Heavyweight legend, Tito Ortiz, used to be straight up enemies, to the point where they almost had a boxing match to settle their differences. And while White says the beef is done with these days, that doesn’t mean he won’t use “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” as an example of what not to do as a fighter when negotiating with UFC.
White sat down with Big Boy TV and shared a crazy story (and some pretty casual insults) regarding one of the first massive stars UFC ever had.
“Tito’s just a really dumb human being, he’s not intelligent at all,” White said. “Very, very f—ing stupid, okay? Let’s start there. I mean, look at him speak publicly any time. Look — google ‘Tito Ortiz talking,’ okay? You know? And I don’t have any beef with Tito any more. You know you’re f—ing stupid, Tito, you know you are.
“Tito would — we’d be coming up to a big fight on Saturday, right?” White continued. “Deals have been done for months. Tito would call and say, ‘I’m not going to show up unless you pay me another $150,000’ or whatever the number was. He would do this on the regular. And I would go f—ing crazy. But, these are the types of ... Tito was the kind of guy who would step over dollars to pick up dimes. Because he thought he was smart, but he was the complete opposite. He’s not a smart guy.
“He destroyed what could have been an incredible relationship because we loved Tito at the time,” White continued. “Tito was our guy. Tito was my guy. Frank and Lorenzo [Fertitta] loved Tito. And he absolutely destroyed a relationship that he could have had for the rest of his life. Over nickels. Nickels, in the big picture.”
Dana White: Tito's just a really dumb human being. pic.twitter.com/kSZv7MOmYQ— Jed I. Goodman © (@jedigoodman) September 12, 2023
“Chuck Liddell was the exact opposite,” he said. “Chuck Liddell still has a relationship. We still take care of Chuck Liddell, we still do good things for Chuck Liddell because Chuck Liddell is a good person, he’s not stupid, he’s very smart, actually. And when you’re in a business-type relationship, it’s not always perfect, sometimes there’s hard feelings about some things or whatever, but loyalty is a big deal. Loyalty is a big deal.
“And loyalty goes both ways,” White concluded. “It’s not a one way street, loyalty. It’s a two way street, and we’ve had a lot of loyalty from these guys and girls.”