Dana White said there is no chance he and Oscar De La Hoya can ever rekindle their friendship.
For the last several years, White and De La Hoya repeatedly have been at each other’s throats in the media. White has repeatedly called De La Hoya a litany of offensive things, and De La Hoya has responded in kind, repeatedly challenging White to an actual fight.
Earlier this year, however, De La Hoya extended an olive branch to White, apologizing for his side of the feud and suggesting they could work together on future business endeavors. And while White is willing to make peace with De La Hoya, he’s not quite willing to be friends with him.
“I feel like De La Hoya’s apology was sincere, but there’s no way that he and I can ever be friends again,” White said during a Fan Q&A with GQ Sports. “He and I were actually friends. I used to go to his fights. I used to watch his fights. I used to promote his fights. That guy did way too much damage for us to ever be friends again. I appreciate his apology. I get it. We’re cool, but we’re never going to be that cool.”
White and De La Hoya’s beef dates back to Conor McGregor’s boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. that White and the UFC helped to co-promote. Prior to that, White and De La Hoya were on good terms, and De La Hoya was a supporter of the UFC. But De La Hoya blasted Mayweather-McGregor matchup as “disrespecting the sport of boxing,” which led to White attacking De La Hoya.
Things were only exacerbated when De La Hoya moved into the MMA space, promoting a trilogy bout between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell that really drew White’s ire. De La Hoya hasn’t done anything with MMA since, but he is still a major boxing promoter, and with White frequently stating an interest in moving into boxing in some fashion, a business endeavor between the two of them in the boxing realm could make sense.
There’s just one problem: White sounds like he’s done with boxing as well.
“Every time I start to go down the road to get involved in boxing, I go, ‘Have I lost my f****** mind? Am I crazy? Why would I ever want to get involved in this corrupt, insane, f***** up sport?’” White said. “And then I jump out for a while and then I start to think about it again. Literally just started thinking about it a month ago, got on the phone with a couple boxing guys, hung up the phone and said, ‘Have I lost my f****** mind again? Why would I want to be in business with any of these guys?’”
White initially planned to launch Zuffa boxing in October of 2019, however, the endeavor never got off the ground; White repeatedly said the sport “might be so broken that it can’t be fixed.” As of 2022, there are no immediate plans for Zuffa boxing, and earlier this year, White essentially said he’s abandoned the idea, at least for the time being.