The 2007 boxing match between Dana White and Tito Ortiz is one of the UFC's great "what would have happened?" moments. Ortiz wanted to fight White, the potential for such a fight was structured into his contract and the two parties agreed to make it happen. They went through the process of training, the Nevada State Athletic Commission got involved, the two men got licensed and then...Tito no-showed the weigh-ins.
Dana White talked about the situation during a Q&A session following a screening of his new "The Fighters" reality show. MMA Fighting has the transcript:
"Believe me," White said, "I'm not trying to sound like a tough guy and I don't talk about the thing a lot, but I was ready, in great shape and Tito bailed on that thing because Tito knew he was going to get his ass whooped on national television."
"Yes!," White responded when asked if he regretted the experience. "If I could go back in time, I wouldn't do it. If I knew Tito was going to bail out of the thing, I would've never done it. I had to have nose surgery after all that stuff, getting ready for that fight. I was sparring with real guys. I brought in real pro heavyweights, young guys that were literally beating the s--t out of me every day. It was not fun.
..."The reality is with me is Tito knew. Tito knew. Tito had Jenna [Jameson] call negotiating like two weeks before the fight that he wanted to switch it to no head gear.
"Because this was supposed to be an amateur fight. So, he wanted to switch to no head gear. I said, 'Fine. We'll go no head gear.' They wanted to switch to 8 ounce gloves. I said, 'Ok, we can do 8 ounce gloves.'"
"The reality is I used to beat the living s--t out of Tito Ortiz back when we first bought this company and we used to box."
"Now, if Tito would've made this an MMA fight, I would've never said yes because Tito would murder me. He would double leg me, elbow my face off and rip my head right off my shoulders in an MMA fight.
"That's not what he asked for. He asked for a boxing match with me and I would've beat the living s--t out of Tito. And he knows it and that's why he didn't do it."