5 Infamous clashes between Dana White and UFC fighters

Here are five times Dana White and fighters in the UFC had public feuds.
Sep 9, 2023; Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA; UFC President Dana White speaks at a press conference after the
Sep 9, 2023; Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA; UFC President Dana White speaks at a press conference after the / Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports
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Over the years, more than 2900 fighters have joined the UFC and Dana White has had to deal with all of them in some way or another. White is known for being a vocal CEO who rarely refrains from speaking his mind. For instance, he's always praised Conor McGregor for being the biggest star for the company but that hasn't stopped him from admitting how hard it has been to book a fight for McGregor lately.

A sport like MMA that thrives on violent interactions between two individuals is bound to stir up controversies very often. From fighters breaking the rules to someone wearing speedos in the Octagon, the range of things that White has seen as a head is massive and hilarious at the same time.

UFC has had a fair share of company men like Donald Cerrone, Daniel Cormier, and Chael Sonnen, but that is not how you'd explain every fighter ever. In fact, there have been many fighters with glaring issues related to how White runs the UFC, ranging from fighter pay and medical coverage to matchmaking and a lot more.

So, let's take a look at five infamous clashes between White and UFC fighters.

Dana White and Tito Ortiz almost had a boxing match

From being his manager to almost stepping in the boxing ring with him, White has had one of the most interesting relationships with Ortiz that all fans should know about because after all these years, it is quite entertaining to look back to.

After his loss to Frank Shamrock, Ortiz changed the way he approached MMA and focused on being a well-rounded fighter. When he grabbed the UFC light heavyweight championship by defeating Wanderlei Silva, White became Ortiz's manager.

This is easily one of the biggest events in MMA history because White discovered UFC's financial condition by being Ortiz's manager and he convinced the Fertitta brothers to purchase the UFC and make it the organization that now boasts over 1.3 billion USD in revenue.

However, White's relationship with Ortiz soured as he was no longer just his manager but the head of the company too. Ortiz complained about UFC's mistreatment despite him being the biggest draw on the roster and literally saving the company with his fight against Ken Shamrock on UFC 40.

By the time Ortiz fought Chuck Liddell at UFC 47, White hated Ortiz to the point that when Liddell knocked him out, the President asked for the former's shorts and gloves and put them in a glass case.

Fast forward to 2005, Ortiz fought Vitor Belfort as a free agent and it seemed like he would never fight in the UFC again and even White agreed to this openly. However, after a short stint at TNA, Ortiz came back to coach TUF 3 alongside Ken Shamrock and allegedly got a great deal too. This is where the infamous boxing match was first proposed, and Ortiz wanted to box White for three rounds and wanted this to be a provision in his contract.

White trained for the bout, but Ortiz pulled out due to an injury and focused on his UFC career. By defeating Forest Griffin and then Shamrock in back to back fights, he was now the biggest st in the promotion and yet again, struck a brilliant deal that must've hurt White to some extent.

In early 2007, the boxing match was actually sanctioned as White could be seen sparring heavyweights and he seemed more than ready to step into the ring with Ortiz. However, the fight obviously didn't happen with Ortiz claiming that White refused to pay him anything, let alone the 50-50 split he expected, and White, on the other hand, has claimed that Ortiz pulled out because it was a lose-lose situation for him.

White and Ortiz have always shared some of the craziest stories about each other, which also includes them having a full-blown fist fight on a plane.

Even though the boxing match would've been the perfect end to this clash, it is still one of the most enjoyable beefs involving White as both men clearly hated each other while also working together to make the UFC the biggest MMA organization in the world.

From Ortiz donning the 'Dana is my b***h' shirt to the UFC president calling him one of the dumbest people to deal with, it's just full of iconic moments we still cherish to this day.