On an episode of Beyond The Fight, Chael Sonnen spoke about Dana White's favorite UFC moment of all-time.
On a recent edition of GQ's Actually Me series, Dana White was asked:
"What was the most satisfying victory for you out of any UFC fight?"
Dana White replied:
"When Chuck Liddell knocked Tito Ortiz out, that was my favorite, favorite moment that has ever happened in UFC history."
The aforementioned moment was the fateful night when Chuck Lidell knocked out Tito Ortiz December 30, 2006 and defended his UFC light heavyweight title.
Sonnen gave his thoughts on Dana White's reply:
"Dana White did an interview guys, I want to say with GQ magazine. They asked him a question 'What is your favorite moment in the history of the UFC?' Dana said the night that Chuck knocked out Tito. It wasn't for the glorious moment of Chuck, Dana was frustrated with Tito and wanted to see him lose."
White and Ortiz had a heated rivalry in the early days of the UFC, with the conflict almost escalating to a boxing match between the two. While that didn't end up coming to fruition, White was heavily rooting for Liddell to defeat Ortiz.
After Liddell secured victory, the UFC president even went as far as requesting 'The Iceman's gloves and trunks from the fight. He then subsequently had them framed in his house, displaying just how much that victory meant to him.
"Tito was absolutely frightened" - Chael Sonnen recalls Ortiz was as he never had seen him in first bout with Liddell
Chael Sonnen went on to share another important part of the backstory of Ortiz vs. Liddell 1. Before Dana White was UFC president, he was a manager who had both Ortiz and Liddell as clients. The two fighters were friends and training partners, and Sonnen was told on good authority that Liddell was getting the better of Ortiz in the practice room. Chael Sonnen shared the anecdote:
"They do something called the best damn sports show period. It's Chuck and Tito sitting there and Tito was a very commanding presence at all times on camera... [Tito] was asked "Oh so you guys used to train together who used to win?"... and this is the part I remember... [Tito] dropped his head to the ground he took both hands and he pointed at Chuck... Guys I'm going back fifteen years I still remember this... When the fight starts Tito was absolutely frightened."
Of course, this fear translated into Liddell becoming the first person to knock Ortiz out cold, just thirty-eight seconds into the second round.
You can watch the full episode of Beyond The Fight here: