Sunday, September 25, 2022

Dana White Reveals UFC Financial Records to Dispute Claims from Oscar De La Hoya

UFC president Dana White pulled the veil back on financials for Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz while refuting pay claims from Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya

Dana White escalated his ongoing feud with Oscar De La Hoya by revealing financial records for Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz to refute claims made by the Golden Boy Promotions CEO.

The war of words between promoters started months ago when De La Hoya ripped the boxing match between former UFC champion Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather. That earned him a vitriolic response from White but since that time the ill feelings between executives has only gotten worse.

De La Hoya then promoted his own mixed martial arts show featuring UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz but he spent the majority of the lead up to that card talking about how poorly the UFC — and by extension UFC president Dana White — had treated fighters while paying them pennies on the dollar compared to what boxers make in their sport.

While the Liddell-Ortiz 3 card promoted by De La Hoya reportedly did vastly underwhelming numbers on pay-per-view, the former boxing champion still took aim at White and the UFC in a post fight interview where he talked about plans to promote more MMA cards in the future.

“First of all, what I said [was] not about [White] personally,” De La Hoya said on ESPN ‘First Take’ earlier this week. “[It was] just about the business [and] just about how fighters are coming up to me and saying, ‘Look, we don’t get paid enough. The UFC just sold for $4 billion, we’re here struggling trying to make ends meet [and] fighting in a world title fight that does a million homes and I only get paid $50,000.’

“I gave Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell the opportunity because Dana White doesn’t pay them enough. Why is Chuck Liddell still fighting at this age? Because Dana White doesn’t pay him enough.”

Well White fired back at De La Hoya on Wednesday in an interview with Yahoo! Sports while laying out the financials for both Liddell and Ortiz while they were competing in the UFC.

“White said that beginning with UFC 52 on April 16, 2005, when Liddell knocked out Randy Couture to win the light heavyweight title, Liddell never made less than $1 million in a UFC fight. Including UFC 52, he fought 11 times for the UFC from that point forward.

“White said that in Liddell’s final three UFC fights — knockout losses to Rashad Evans in 2008, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in 2009 and Rich Franklin in 2010 — he made a minimum of $2.7 million each fight. Ortiz, according to White, averaged $1.7 million for his last three fights, losses to Rashad Evans, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Forrest Griffin.”

In addition to his fight salaries, White says the UFC continued to pay Liddell every year since he first retired in 2010 with $2,742,716 being paid out between 2011 and 2018.

As far as how much White paid Liddell and Ortiz specifically for their two fights in the UFC, he says the first bout at UFC 47 in 2004 only sold 106,000 pay-per-views so there was no real bonus to be paid at that time. The rematch two years later sold 929,000 pay-per-views and White claims the fighters made a significant payday on that fight.

“When Chuck fought the second time, he made $2.882 million and Tito made $2.081 million. Those are the facts, so Oscar is lying again,” White said in response.

For the trilogy fight that happened under De La Hoya’s promotion, Liddell earned a disclosed $250,000 payday while Ortiz took home $200,000. Both fighters are expected to earn more based on pay-per-view sales, although early reports have shown that the card may have sold well under 50,000 total buys.

White also refuted De La Hoya’s statement that some fighter told him that they fought for a world title in a card that sold over 1 million pay-per-views yet the mystery person only made $50,000.

White says that since Zuffa LLC purchased the UFC in 2001, the company has done nine pay-per-views that have sold over 1 million buys. Out of those nine pay-per-views, White says the athlete compensation was $133 million with the main event fighters taking home the lion’s share with $84 million.

Before he closed, White also revealed part of a conversation he just had with Liddell recently following his first round TKO loss to Ortiz in the Golden Boy promoted show.

“This was the most unprofessional and disorganized group of people I ever worked with,” White said when relaying what Liddell told him about the experience. “I guess I was spoiled because I was with the UFC for most of my career and got used to how it was done over there.”

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