UFC President Dana White didn't hold back when criticizing Oscar De La Hoya for his first venture as a mixed martial arts promoter. On Wednesday, the former boxing champion had some strong words for White in response.
In an interview on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast, White called the Golden Boy MMA head a “f—-ing cokehead” and ripped him for allowing 48-year-old Chuck Liddell to fight following an eight-year hiatus. White led the effort to convince “The Iceman” to retire from the UFC in 2010 following three consecutive knockout losses in the Octagon. Liddell met a similar result in his return, as he suffered a first-round knockout loss to Tito Ortiz at Golden Boy MMA’s debut event at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., this past Saturday night.
“I love Chuck Liddell and I don’t ever want to bad mouth Chuck Liddell,” White said. “People even think I’m remotely bad mouthing Chuck Liddell, but the reality is — first of all, I heard last week the cokehead ‘Oscar De La Weirdo’ is talking s—t that I don’t have any place to tell guys when to retire. First of all, it’s called ‘friendship’ you f—-ing cokehead. I’ve been friends with Chuck Liddell for 20 years and the reality is that Chuck Liddell retired when he should have retired. Eight, nine years ago, however long it was. And Chuck Liddell’s almost 50 years old and has no business fighting anymore. The fact that the state of California even let that fight happen is disgusting. Disgusting.
“Chuck Liddell has an incredible legacy. He’s a huge superstar in this sport, so of course as a friend, anybody who claims to be a friend of Chuck Liddell and was anywhere near this fight is full of s--t. They’re not a friend of Chuck Liddell. To let him go in and fight this fight is terrible.”
De La Hoya responded to White’s criticisms in a prepared statement on Wednesday.
“Dana is so small and threatened by our success with [streaming service DAZN] and now in MMA that he is bringing up news from a decade ago to try to stay relevant,” De La Hoya’s statement read. “Boxing has entirely rejected him. And MMA fighters are now realizing they don’t have to risk their lives just so he can get rich.
“Golden Boy and I are moving forward and are bigger than ever. Dana should shut the f—k up and try to figure out how to save his own company.”
After clearing Liddell to compete, the California State Athletic Commission suspended the UFC Hall of Famer indefinitely following Saturday’s knockout loss. Liddell must apply with CSAC to have his suspension lifted before he can compete again.