Now it’s in the books, the virtually unanimous agreement is Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz 3 was an unnecessary sadness.
Liddell proved he was a far cry from the man known as the first icon in the UFC, and showed he was too slow and un-athletic to compete inside a cage any longer. Add to that his history of bad knockouts, and the fact Ortiz smashed him to the canvas inside the first round, and the entire affair has left a bad taste in viewers mouths.
None more so than UFC president Dana White.
White and Liddell’s close relationship is famous, with the UFC president convincing Liddell to hang up his gloves some eight years ago after a string of brutal losses. When boxing promoter Oscar De La Hoya provided Liddell and Ortiz a platform to compete, White made it clear he was uncomfortable with proceedings — even when De La Hoya told White it was none of his business to try and keep Liddell retired.
Now, with the fight in the books, White is letting it be known how upset he was at the event at The Forum last Saturday.
“Listen, I love Chuck Liddell and I don’t ever want to badmouth Chuck Liddell,” White said, speaking on UFC Unfiltered.. “People do think I’m badmouthing Chuck Liddell , but the reality is, first of all, lets says this first, I heard last week that the cokehead, ‘Oscar Del La Weirdo’ is talking shit, that I don’t have any place to tell guys when to retire. First of all, it’s called friendship you fucking cokehead. I’ve been friends with Chuck Liddell for 20-years and the reality is that Chuck Liddell retired when he should’ve retired, 8 or 9 years ago whenever it was.”
“The problem is Chuck Liddell was a fighter,” White continued. “Chuck Liddell loves to fight, that’s his passion, it’s what he loves in life. But there comes a day and age, fighting is a young man’s game. You can’t do it. And Oscar fucking De La Hoya says, ‘Oh, come over to Golden Boy where we respect the fighters and it makes me sick what these fighters were paid’ and all this shit. Out of 14 fights on the card, five bouts were amateur fights. Which means he didn’t pay them jack shit, right? And 12 of the professional fighters on the card made less than [$3,000 to appear and $3,000 to win]. What the fuck are you talking about you cokehead junkie?
“Some of the guys on the card made $1,000 and $1,000. And he respects the fighters so much, he couldn’t remember their fucking names at the press conference.
“Chuck Liddell is 50-years-old and has no business fighting anymore and that fact that the State of California even let that fight happen is disgusting, it’s disgusting. Chuck Liddell is a huge superstar and has a great legacy in this sport. So of course, as friend, anyone that claims to be a friend of Chuck Liddell and was anywhere near this fight is full of shit. They aren’t a friend of Chuck Liddell. To let him go in and fight this fight. It’s terrible.”
And just in case you were left unsure just how unhappy White is with De La Hoya?
“I hope somebody talks De La Hoya into fighting again,” White said. “I hope the state of California makes the fight and I hope he gets fucking knocked out just like Chuck Liddell did in the first round. Fucking cokehead nutball.”