Dana White wanted to fight UFC legend Tito Ortiz and was convinced he would have won but former champion backed out

The feud between Dana White and Tito Ortiz goes back a long way.

Ortiz was one of the UFC’s early pioneers, was once the light heavyweight champion and inducted into the Hall of Fame back in 2012.

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UFC president Dana White does not get along with everybody in the sport
Getty Images – Getty

That still doesn’t mean he and UFC president White had to get along, in fact the pair hated each other.

It all allegedly started on a private jet when Ortiz got White into a neck crank and refused to let go, although both parties offer different versions of the events.

The feud escalated so much that the pair were meant to have a boxing match in 2007, until Ortiz pulled out.

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Tito Ortiz has been critical of Dana White[/caption]

White told TMZ: “I did not (challenge him to a fight). He challenged me. I trained for it and I brought in real guys. I spent serious time really training for this fight and I was absolutely going to do it.

“He did (back out). He blinked.

“Yeah I would have won. I would have absolutely won that boxing match.”

Ortiz offered a slightly different version of what transpired. He did decide against the boxing match but was essentially forced to by Dana White.

In an interview in 2018, he said: “People always ask what happened to that boxing match. It was one of those things that was so untrue and fabricated on so many points.

“Yes we were supposed to box. Any fight or any competition that I’ve ever done that has to be sanctioned by the Athletic Commission and you have to weigh in on a scale there was a contract in front of you of where the funds or any type of money that was raised, where was that money going?

“Me and Dana agreed on a 50/50. If there was anything cut and I mean $20 to a $100,000 to $1million, anything made from our fight we are going to split 50/50.

NINTCHDBPICT000582039055 e1589094927970 - Dana White wanted to fight UFC legend Tito Ortiz and was convinced he would have won but former champion backed out
President Dana White believes he would have won against Ortiz
Getty Images – Getty

“When it came down to it and it was going to get down he said ‘we can’t do that anymore. I can’t give you anything’.

“I said ‘if there’s no contract and you aren’t going to give me anything then I’m not going to do it’. This was a month before the fight was even announced that it was going to happen.

“I told him ‘I’m not going to do it’ and he said ‘well you have to do it’. Any of my other fights I always fought for money and I had a contact in front of me so the Athletic Commission sees it and the weight class I have to make.

“All of a sudden I’m not getting any financial revenue from it, it didn’t make any sense to me. I’m a business man.

“It was an opportunity for Dana White to show he was this big bad tough guy who is willing to fight the former champ from UFC and he got an opportunity from Spike TV to promote it that way, flying him around in his Leer Jets, training and saying how much he was getting ready for this fight.

“At the time I wasn’t even training because it was never going to happen. It was propaganda on his side to show that the boxing match was supposed to happen.

“I wish it would have happened and I would have shut him up and a lot of his fans up but I’m glad it didn’t happen because I probably would have hurt him.”


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