Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages
Dana White is done talking about Oscar De La Hoya.
The UFC president spoke to reporters in Las Vegas following the UFC’s Contender Series on Tuesday night and embarked on a near 16-minute rant about De La Hoya when asked about his latest explosive exchange with the former champion boxer. The two have traded shots in recent days after De Le Hoya criticized UFC fighter pay in a Twitter post sent to featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski after UFC 266 — and this time White responded with what he vowed would be his final salvo in their ongoing war of words.
“He is a lying, two-faced, hypocritical sack of sh*t — and I hate him so much that I love to prove that he’s a lying, hypocritical, two-faced piece of sh*t,” White told reporters.
White began by highlighting De Le Hoya’s infamous 2018 foray into promoting MMA with a Golden Boy card headlined by a trilogy match between UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. The UFC boss read off a list of publicly available information regarding the salaries of the fighters who competed on that card, several of whom were UFC veterans.
“All the former UFC fighters who were on his card made more in their last [UFC] bout than they did for his event,” White said. “Most of them made more in multiple or all of their UFC bouts, right? So 17 of the 22 fighters got less than the starting compensation in the UFC, the guys who fought on his MMA card. Now, where I’m going with this is this asshole, every time he opens his mouth, acts like, No. 1, ‘Oh, you’re not paying your fighters. Why are the fighters not being paid?’ And he acts like when he puts on an event, like he pays more than we do or something.
“Yeah, you pay f*cking Canelo [Alvarez] a sh*tload of money, who you couldn’t even hold on to, you couldn’t even keep. He f*cking left you too, right? How about this: I have 650 fighters under contract. He had f*cking one that mattered. He couldn’t keep him.
“Twelve of the 22 fighters got compensated less than what we pay kids on the Contender Series,” White added.
White then shifted into focusing solely on Liddell and Ortiz, both of whom were well into their senior athletic years by the time De La Hoya signed them to a deal in 2018.
“Remember the big narrative for that one was Chuck and Tito are going to make more than they ever made?” White said. “Yeah. The last time Chuck Liddell made less than $250,000 in the UFC was in August 2004 at UFC 49. OK? The last time Tito Ortiz made less than $250,000 in the UFC was February 2005 for UFC 51. And just for the record, that was when we were still $40 million in the hole. We weren’t making money.
“So think about this: Chuck Liddell, his last fight in the UFC, Chuck lost five of his last six and he still made on his last fight in the UFC 10 times more than what Oscar paid him. Tito Ortiz won one of his last nine fights. Tito Ortiz’s last nine fights, he won one. He made 12 times in the UFC for his last fight what Oscar paid him.
“So there’s another f*cking lie from Oscar De La Hoya.”
White also passed out handouts to the media in attendance in Las Vegas with salary figures to a Golden Boy boxing show that he says De La Hoya promoted earlier this summer.
“What you’ve been handed, I could’ve brought 30 of these,” White said. “I brought one because it’s June 9, 2021. OK? This was a fight that just happened in June. It’s a Golden Boy Promotions fight that this dickhead put on, OK? There were nine fights, 18 fighters. The total purses paid for every fight was $36,500. Total. The average purse per fighter is $2,000 on a Golden Boy De Le Hoya card. … Volkanovski got paid more to wear his UFC Venum kit [at UFC 266] than Oscar De La Hoya paid the entire f*cking fight card.
“I could go on, but I think we all get the f*cking point. He’s a liar.
“And there’s so much more on De La Hoya,” White continued. “He owes people money that fought for him that he hasn’t paid. The list goes on and on. Imagine if I still owed a fighter from f*cking a year ago, you would crucifix me on a daily basis. This guy, nobody gives a sh*t. And the only reason [I’m responding to him], I just despise him so bad that every time he f*cking lies, I point it out, and still people don’t give a sh*t.”
The UFC and White have repeatedly come under fire over recent years for a pay structure that many critics believe is less than equitable for its fighters. Just within the past month, UFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier admitted in a post-fight interview that he was “broke” and needed to fight again sooner rather than later in order to make ends meet.
The UFC remains in a unique position when it comes to the topic of fighter pay. The revenue splits between owners and athletes in most major American sports leagues such as MLB and the NFL are collectively bargained by both sides with significant input from player unions or player associations. Those agreements tend to guarantee athletes a percentage of revenue close to a 50-percent revenue split. The UFC, however, does not — it instead is believed to pay out 20 percent or less of its revenue to UFC athletes, according to information gleaned through an ongoing class action lawsuit against the promotion.
When asked if those revenue split figures were correct, White declined to answer.
“None of your business,” White said. “It’s none of your business how much it is. That’s it.”
White then continued his verbal assault against De La Hoya by taking aim at the former boxer’s personal life and business practices, before ultimately making it clear that if De La Hoya didn’t like how White operated, he was free to try to beat White at his own game.
“You don’t like the way we pay our fighters? Too f*cking bad,” White said. “Go start another MMA organization and you go f*cking figure out how to do it and you could pay them $10 million a fight, $30 million a fight, whatever you want to do.
“At the end of the day, I’ve said this a million times: We run a real business, unlike boxing,” White added. “Boxing doesn’t run a real business. What these guys do is every event is a going-out-of-business sale. They’re trying to get as much money as they can in the door. The two guys at the top of the card make all the money. And how many fights a year are they doing? One? Three? Five? I’m doing 52 to 53 event a year.
“I said it to him yesterday and I’ll say it to him again: He accomplished a lot of great things in boxing. Outside of the ring, the guy is an absolute f*cking loser.”