The ongoing feud between current UFC president, Dana White, and UFC hall of famer, Tito Ortiz, has been in the public eye for almost two decades now. White and Ortiz both have a history of bashing each other in interviews, and being public about their bad blood. Dana and Tito acknowledged they’ve never seen eye to eye during ‘The Ultimate Fighter 3’ but the two were able to put their differences aside for the reality show, for the most part.
Ironically, White started out his career in MMA as Ortiz’s manager, before taking over the UFC and becoming Tito’s boss. In the midst of these years resenting each other, White and Tito went as far as to plan a boxing match between each other. White told Conan O’Brien the idea for the fight originated on a flight to Japan.
“We were gonna fight one time in a boxing match but I actually never told this story publicly before but we were on a private plane on our way to Japan and it was my partners, the Fertitta brothers, myself, Tito Ortiz and our matchmaker at the time, Joe Silva. Tito and I were messing around and he put me in what’s called a neck crank, I was tapping and he didn’t stop. You can seriously hurt somebody in a neck crank, especially as big and strong as Tito is. So I just started blasting him in the ribs, started punching him in the ribs and when he let go [I] just jumped up and it was just a full blown fist fight in the plane.”
This was the inciting incident for one of the greatest fights that never happened. White explains he had his partner Lorenzo Fertitta write up a contract for a three three-minute round boxing match after the fight on the plane, a contract Ortiz never signed. During recent talks with Barstool Sports, White shared just how confident he was that he would’ve won the bout.
“This wasn’t going to be the first time Tito and I boxed. As it started to get closer and I was training — at the time I was sparring with heavyweight pro boxers who were ranked in the top-10 to get ready for that fight — I was in ridiculous shape and I was ready. I was going to whoop his ass in front of everybody,”
White did admit that if they fought MMA, Tito would’ve ‘murdered’ him. But when it came to boxing White felt differently.
“In a boxing match, I was going to f*ck him up and make him look stupid. He knows that, and that’s why that match never happened.”
It really is a shame we never got to see this match, as the footage would no doubt be absolutely hilarious, and either outcome would’ve been memorable.
Who do you think would’ve won the fight? Let us know in the comments!