Oscar De La Hoya says there are a number of reasons why Golden Boy MMA has only one show, but the biggest was UFC president Dana White.
“I did this show,” De La Hoya told Ariel Helwani. MMA watch. “It was a great experience. Obviously, it’s not my sport that I know, and I’m familiar with, [but] It is still a fighting game. Still the same promotion. Still – you have a fighter, you have places, you have pay-per-view, it’s all the same. Business model is all the same. The square was full of visitors; Pay per view wasn’t good for certain reasons, some cable operators weren’t working with us but I guess that’s just because I got a lot of heat from Dana White. That’s literally the point. Also being busy with Golden Boy Promotions, I decided to stay on my own path.
“I did it because the fighters came up to me and said, ‘Hey, why don’t you help us here?'” We want to try something new here. We want to try to build something here with you. So I gave it a try, and it was a great experience. I really liked it, the atmosphere and the fans, it’s really fun. It was a lot of fun, but the bottom line is I got a lot of excitement because I don’t really know the insights into MMA and all that’s going on, all the players and fighters. Dana criticized me and all for good reason. There were some back-and-forth exchanges with me and Dana, for which I apologized, 1,000 percent.”
Golden Boy MMA made its only show in 2018, a three-way title match between former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. The event infuriated White, who eight years earlier played a key role in convincing Liddell to retire, and led to a feud between UFC executives and De La Hoya.
In the years that followed, things got bad between the two, with De La Hoya even challenging White to a fight. But now, the “golden boy” wants to put aside their differences and crush the beef.
“I think there is still a lot of work to be done between me and Dana going forward,” De La Hoya said. “I know he was trying to cross from here into boxing. I don’t think it was successful, or I don’t think he really pushed it that much, but if he wanted to talk and sit down, imagine fusing our strengths together and creating something together. It would be very unique.”
As for what this unique thing could be, De La Hoya had no details. However, De La Hoya noted that given their respective success records, if the two of them could put their pasts behind them and find common ground, he thought it could be huge.
“I love working with him,” De La Hoya said of White. “It would be fun and interesting to build something together, because boxing is a very fragmented sport, and what the Fertitta brothers have done and what Dana has done with the UFC is incredible. Buying the company so many years ago, building it into strength, building it into my league, building it into what it is now It’s very impressive.So yeah, I’m extending an olive branch.I like to sit and talk and calm things down,letting the past go,then focus on business….
“No hard feelings. it is what it is. I said a few things that weren’t nice, he said a few things that were below the belt, but without hard feelings at all. it is what it is. We can move forward as adults and figure out something, if he wants to. Here I am, all ears are listening. I am more than happy and would like to listen and create something special, because I am an entrepreneur. I love building an organization that can be very special, and having Dana and I together can be very special.”