Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz will fight this weekend, and the press conference that was supposed to hype up the trilogy between the two UFC hall-of-famers was a bit of an awkward disaster.
Oscar De La Hoya took to the stage seemingly woefully unprepared to promote his first Golden Boy MMA event. If admitting not knowing any of his undercard fighters wasn’t bad enough, he also repeatedly mispronounced his headliner’s last name, all while claiming “Lie-dell” is his all-time favorite MMA fighter.
You can watch the entire press conference above, but below is a snippet of the awkward start to the presser that got MMA twitter heavily criticizing the successful boxing promoter.
No questions were taken from the media during the press conference, and De La Hoya was also reported to have left pretty quickly, as the headliners did their one-on-one interviews.
Liddell was asked about De La Hoya seemingly coming in unprepared, and the UFC legend came to the defense of his new promoter.
“He’s doing his best. He’s out here working. There’s a lot of fights on the card, and it’s certainly new to him,” Liddell told the Mac Life. “By the time someone makes it onto that stage in the UFC, they’ve been fighting for a long time in the same organization, so you should know their names, right? This is the first time. You can’t get mad at him too much.
“I’m hoping it will bring over some of those boxing fans. Boxing guys will hopefully try this out because Oscar is promoting,” he said.
As for De La Hoya repeatedly pronouncing his name wrong, Liddell says it’s no big deal.
“Someone said he had it corrected. I thought he did, otherwise, I would’ve warned him before (the press conference), reminded him,” he said. “People give him a hard time, but I’ve had my name misspelled a lot of times — the UFC still misspells my name sometimes. It is what it is. He’s trying. It’s good. It’s okay.”
De La Hoya also went on to say that getting 200,000 to 400,000 pay-per-view buys is a “no brainer” for this event.
Reaching that number historically, seems very unlikely, especially for non-UFC events. Even if Oscar’s foray into MMA flops though, Golden Boy Promotions is guaranteed to do well after signing that lucrative DAZN boxing deal. Who knows, maybe that’s also why it seemed like the De La Hoya couldn’t have been bothered to do his homework for this MMA event.