Five UFC fighters who wanted to knock Dana White out
UFC president Dana White is the very definition of a divisive figure. Some people love him for his brash, straight-talking attitude, the fact that he appears to have the best interests of the fans at heart, and the fact that he’s the antithesis of your regular corporate executive. Others, however, despise him, feeling he lies constantly, doesn’t care about his fighters, and is simply in it for the money.
The truth, honestly, is probably somewhere in the middle. For every fighter who hates Dana, there’s one who loves him, like Chuck Liddell, Donald Cerrone and Forrest Griffin. At times though, Dana has angered his fighters to such an extent that they’ve outright wanted to throw down with him. Here are five that truly held a grudge and would probably still knock him out if they had the chance.
#5 Tito Ortiz
Tito and Dana were originally close friends; Dana managed Tito in his early UFC days and it was this relationship that actually led to the Fertitta brothers – childhood friends of White – buying the UFC from SEG in 2001. When Dana took over as UFC president, however, and was forced to leave Ortiz’s side, the relationship soon turned sour. The big issue? Unsurprisingly, it stemmed largely from a financial disagreement – Ortiz wanted more money to fight his former friend Chuck Liddell than the UFC were initially willing to pay.
Eventually, the two parties came to an understanding, but only after Randy Couture took the Liddell fight and beat him. Ortiz in turn lost to Couture and then Liddell, but by early 2005 he was back on the winning track after beating Patrick Cote and Vitor Belfort. But the Belfort fight ended his contract and Tito walked away, feeling he was worth more money, and began to badmouth White at every opportunity. White unsurprisingly returned the favour.
When Tito returned to the UFC later that year, it was a surprise, but even more surprising was a clause in his contract that stipulated that he could take on Dana himself in a boxing match. It was odd, to say the least, and despite a documentary titled ‘Bad Blood’ to build up the fight, Tito decided against it. His naysayers claimed Dana – a former amateur boxer – had gotten the better of him in earlier training sessions. This time Ortiz’s contract with the UFC ended even more acrimoniously – he wore a t-shirt stating ‘DANA IS MY B***H’ at the weigh-ins for his final fight and then left after losing to Lyoto Machida.
Incredibly, the two mended fences again and Ortiz returned just over a year later, supposedly back in White’s good books. The relationship seemed okay for three years this time and Ortiz was put into the UFC’s Hall of Fame after retiring, but a move to rival promotion Bellator sent things sour again, with the two men sniping at one another like it was 2006 all over again. The word now is that they’ve made up again, but who knows how long it’ll last?