Oscar de la Hoya and Dana White’s tumultuous relationship continues to become more toxic with every passing day and a resolution seems very far off.
The UFC president showed the bad blood between the two men is very much alive and festering when asked about his rival’s potential return to the boxing ring.
Speaking at a UFC press conference on Saturday night, White remarked ‘cocaine isn’t cheap’ and sarcastically gave De La Hoya his blessing.
Oscar De La Hoya and Dana White do not see eye to eye at all
The reference to former world champion De La Hoya’s chequered past is not the first and seemingly not the last time White will bring up his substance abuse.
The 47-year-old has previously sought help from rehab centres on multiple occasions, including the same week Floyd Mayweather fought his protégé Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Although the UFC president is a bullish character at the best of times, this vicious and deeply personal insult is the latest in a long line of verbal barbs the pair have traded over the years.
So what exactly is the genesis of the feud and how did it get so personal?
White sparked the rivalry once again on Saturday by making a jibe at De La Hoya’s personal life
In 2017, when rumours of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor’s move into boxing became well known, it is safe to say it irked plenty of pugilistic purists.
While many simply accepted the bout for what it was, De La Hoya became incensed at the sheer audacity of the Irishman and the UFC, prompting him to write a lengthy Facebook post about the possible recriminations of the spectacle.
Having heralded what had been an excellent year for boxing after fights featuring Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko, Canelo and Keith Thurman, De La Hoya urged fans to ‘shut the circus down’ and not ‘pay to see a joke of a fight’.
This in turn upset White, who wrote on Twitter: “WTF?!? Is this guy snorting coke and drinking booze again??!? #OscarDeLaArum”
The lucrative fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather upset De La Hoya
With Canelo’s middleweight title clash against Gennady Golovkin to promote a fortnight after the Mayweather vs McGregor fight, De La Hoya again went on the offensive.
He used every possible interview to slam the fight and what it would mean for boxing, much to the chagrin of White and his team.
However, the rivalry reached new heights when Golden Boy decided to cross over into the world of MMA in an attempt to make a mark in the UFC’s territory.
Before becoming president of the UFC in 2001, White used to manage superstars such as Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz as the sport began to grow.
Golden Boy was promoting the middleweight title clash between Canelo and Golovkin weeks after Mayweather vs McGregor in 2017
Eventually, the two light-heavyweights enjoyed a healthy rivalry which generated millions in revenue and helped boost the profile of both the UFC and White.
When Liddell decided to walk away from the sport in 2010 after several concerning defeats, White was relieved to see his friend call it a day. However, when De La Hoya approached ‘The Iceman’ and Ortiz about a trilogy fight, the feud seemed to become personal.
Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast in 2018, White said: “”I love Chuck Liddell and I don’t ever want to bad mouth Chuck Liddell.
“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*** that I don’t have any place to tell guys when to retire. First of all, it’s called ‘friendship’ you f****** cokehead.
Chuck Liddell and White go way back
“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.”
He continued: “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***. They’re not a friend of Chuck Liddell. To let him go in and fight this fight is terrible.”
De La Hoya didn’t cover himself in glory when he muddled his way through several press conferences, and was then chastised for letting his friend fight again as he was painfully knocked out inside one round.
Ortiz unsurprisingly finished the Iceman in round one
De La Hoya felt compelled to respond and warned White that ‘Golden Boy MMA’ was here to stay and even offered to meet his rival in a boxing ring.
“Dana is so small and threatened by our success with DAZN and now in MMA that he is bringing up news from a decade ago to try to stay relevant,” De La Hoya responded via TMZ Sports.
“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.”
After White moved into boxing, De La Hoye tried to repeat the feat and move into MMA
While Golden Boy MMA may not have taken off, De La Hoya’s bitter feud with the UFC boss continues to get more and more personal.
In November 2019, when De La Hoya and his team decided to stage Canelo vs Kovalev on the same night as UFC 244, the boxing promotion was forced to postpone the main event in Las Vegas so fans inside the venue could see Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz.
White continued his offensive before and after. “I warned dummy. I told that moron not to go the same night,” he told journalists, later adding it was not De La Hoya’s idea to move the start time.
“He’s an a**hole. I used to promote his fights on my social media then we do Mayweather vs McGregor and he tells people not to watch. Who does that?
Eddie Hearn doesn't think that he could promote Conor McGregor even if he is retired from UFC
“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***ing weird, too just to top it off.”
And White’s latest comments suggest the bad blood has no end in sight.
Should the former world champion return to boxing as he has predicted, you can guarantee White will be licking his lips at the prospect of seeing De La Hoya be put on his backside – both literally and metaphorically.