Tito Ortiz versus Dana White in a boxing match is on the long list of fights that got away.
Despite the working relationship they once had as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion and promotional president, Ortiz and White weren’t the fondest of each other back in the day. The pair disliked each other enough that they tried to arrange a boxing match that came very close to happening, White going as far as to even get his license to fight.
However, Ortiz’s expectations weren’t meant once things got down to the nitty-gritty.
“That actually was supposed to happen,” Ortiz said on the Chattin Pony podcast (h/t MMA News). “It was in a contract and everything,” Ortiz said. “It was supposed to be 50/50 on any money that was revenued from the fight, and when it came about to the contract to sign — and I’ve always signed a bout agreement for a fight I was doing — that wasn’t in it.
“I wasn’t making nothing out of it,” he continued. “It was a lose-lose situation for me. And I said the fight’s not happening a month before the fight when they aired it on Spike TV, a three-hour session of Dana flying around… getting ready for the fight and everything. It was never supposed to happen,” Ortiz continued. “It was an opportunity for Dana to be a superstar, and he got that position, and he ran with it. He did it well.”
Ortiz and White managed to remain professional when it came to their working relationship in the years that followed Ortiz’s run in UFC. “The Huntington Beach Badboy” was inducted into UFC’s Hall of Fame in 2012, the same month he fought his final fight for the promotion.
Always a businessman, Ortiz is 5-1 in his post-UFC run, having most recently competed in a boxing match with Anderson Silva in Sept. 2021. Unfortunately for him, Ortiz suffered a quick first round knockout loss (watch highlights).
“The contract came and said I was making zero,” Ortiz said. “I said, ‘Hold on a second, I thought you said 50/50?’ He (White) was like, ‘No, we can’t do that.’ I was like, ‘Well I’m not fighting then … but just don’t go on the scale and say Tito no-showed and is scared to fight,’ and that’s exactly what he did. I’m not fighting anybody for free.”