Ortiz responds to White criticism of De La Hoya
Golden Boy owner Oscar De La Hoya entered the MMA business by pitting UFC Hall of Famers Tito Ortiz, 43, and Chuck Liddell, 48, against each other. Ortiz looked formidable, Liddell looked like he should never fight again, ever. In the lead up to the event, DLH roundly loudly criticized fighter pay in the UFC, but when Golden Boy purses were released, every former UFC fighter made less than they had in the world's dominant league, and there were fighters on the card at 1/1.
On the latest UFC Unfiltered podcast, UFC president Dana White did the verbal equivalent to De La Hoya that Tito did to Liddell, and direct a few unkind remarks to Ortiz as well, predicting lawsuits within months over shares of the PPV revenue.
“Tito and ‘Oscar De La Dummy’ were made for each other. ... There was no money made over there. De La Hoya’s a moron. An absolute moron. And I don’t know how Chuck allowed himself to be talked into this stupid s***.”
Now in an interview with Steven Marrocco for MMAjunkie, Ortiz defended De La Hoya's event. He says that although it takes weeks to reach a final count, he believed the event was already at the 200,000 buy mark.
Ortiz used the number of phone calls (600) and texts (400) to estimate interest in the event, and said it exceeded any of his fights for Bellator.
“This is more than I’ve ever had when I fought Chael, and we did crazy numbers on free television with Chael," said Ortiz. "When I fought Stephan Bonnar, it’s quadruple any of those guys.”
Ortiz said his highest payday ever was $2.9 million at UFC 66 back in 2006, which did over 1,000,000 buys; that rev split was under the points on the PPV plan that the UFC extends to its biggest draws. At this event, Ortiz says he will split PPV profits with Liddell.
“I’m not saying we even break 500,000,” said Ortiz. “But we get close to that, I would be very happy. ... It would be pretty close [to my best payday]. For the pay-per-view that was earned, if we could do 1.3 million buys, it would be a home run out of the park, forever."
“I’m just thankful at the end of the day that I was there to perform the way I did, and I was able to shut Chuck up, and shut all the fans up. I was able to bask in the glory for the rest of my life, because I’ve always wanted that redemption fight. I’ve always wanted the opportunity to show I’m the better fighter when I’m healthy.”