Believe it or not, there was a time when UFC president Dana White and Golden Boy founder Oscar De La Hoya were actually friends and enjoyed a friendly business relationship. Boy, have those times changed.
This weekend, after a UFC 266 main event that saw Alex Volcanovski beat Brian Ortega in an absolute thriller, the former six-division world champ took to social media to take another shot at his now-bitter rival, White:
“Hey @alexvolkanovski you just won a brutal battle for @ufc and made 1/20 of what you’re worth. @danawhite have some fucking respect for yourself and these fighters and pay these warriors what they deserve.”
This prompted the easily rattled and fragile-egoed White to counter with this:
“STFU U crack head. Faking that u had Covid and robbing me of watching u get KTFO by @vitorbelfort you should win an academy award for your hospital performance.”
The UFC prez, of course, was referring to De La Hoya withdrawing from his scheduled September 11 bout with Belfort due to COVID, a claim which has generated some heavy doubts in certain circles. But COVID or not, this bitter public beef has been going on for years now.
From the best we can tell, the Oscar-Dana feud began back in 2017, when White was closing in on co-promoting the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor mega-spectacle. De La Hoya, who had his Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin pay-per-view already on the schedule three weeks later and was mega-worried about Floyd-Conor stealing its thunder, lashed out publicly at the spectacle.
In a cringe-worthy open letter to boxing fandom, the promoter called the Mayweather-McGregor bout a farce, a black eye for the sport, and he encouraged fans to boycott the event.
White didn’t take kindly to that very public shotgun blast and went in hard and ugly (and personal) via his verified Twitter account:
“WTF?!? Is this guy snorting coke and drinking booze again??!?”
The back-and-forth has been non-stop since then and even got ratcheted up a notch when De La Hoya made an ultimately failed bid to start up his own rival MMA promotion to compete with White’s UFC.
“Dana is so small and threatened by our success with DAZN and now in MMA,” De La Hoya told TMZ at the time.
“Boxing has entirely rejected him. And MMA fighters are now realising 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*** up and try to figure out how to save his own company.”
White went into further detail about his dislike for “The Golden Boy” following a virtual dust-up when De La Hoya scheduled his Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev pay-per-view on the same night as White’s UFC 244.
“He’s an a**hole. I used to promote his fights on my social media,” White told media. “Then we do Mayweather vs McGregor and he tells people not to watch. Who does that?
“I could go on for days about this guy. He’s a bad guy, a snake, a liar and an all round bad guy. And he’s really f****** weird, too, just to top it off.”
More recently, when it was first rumored that De La Hoya would be making a boxing comeback, White brutally quipped “cocaine isn’t cheap” when asked at a press conference about the return to the ring.
Clearly, this feud is for real and won’t be dying down any time soon– unless there’s some money-making opportunity in the future that forces both bitter rivals together. Big money in the fight game tends to settle grudges very efficiently.