Quick to bite back with venom, sometimes easily antagonized and always looking to fight fire with fire, UFC president Dana White has always been known as a bit brash. While he may have wanted to strangle a few athletes over the course of his career, even going so far as to organize a celebrity boxing fight against former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, it never seemed like he’d actually follow through with anything like that.
White was interviewed on Conan O’Brien this week and revealed that he’d actually had a showdown with Ortiz as their private plane was taking off. “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” had supposedly been scuffling and play-fighting with his boss when he caught White in a neck crank, which he tapped too. Unfortunately Ortiz didn’t stop cranking on White’s neck, and eventually, the Fertitta brothers had to step in to rescue White from Ortiz’ grasp.
“We were gonna fight one time in a boxing match but I actually never told this story publicly before but we were on a private plane on our way to Japan and it was my partners, the Fertitta brothers, myself, Tito Ortiz and our matchmaker at the time, Joe Silva. Tito and I were messing around and he put me in what’s called a neck crank. I was tapping and he didn’t stop,” said White.
“You can seriously hurt somebody in a neck crank, especially as big and strong as Tito is. So I just started blasting him in the ribs, started punching him in the ribs and when he let go [I] just jumped up and it was just a full blown fist fight on the plane. We were literally taking off and the plane was [wobbling] and the Fertitta brothers had to jump in and break up the fight. So then I sat on the front of the plane, he sat in the back of the plane the rest of the flight.”
While there may be no love lost between White and Ortiz, one can only wonder how the boxing match between the two might have gone if it had actually happened.
Check out Dana White recounting the story here: