Another week has ended with yet another war of words between Dana White and Oscar De La Hoya.
The UFC president and six-division boxing champion got into a Twitter feud Saturday night shortly after the conclusion of UFC 266.
In the main event, featherweight Alexander Volkonovski retained his featherweight title with a win and fight of the year contender against Brian Ortega. For their efforts, both fighters were awarded a $50,000 fight of the night bonus.
Although their fight purses were not disclosed, the Hall of Famer De La Hoya decided to take a jab at fighter pay for mixed martial artists.
“Hey Alexander Volkanovski. You just won a brutal battle for UFC and made 1/20 of what you’re worth. Dana White, have some f------ respect for yourself and these fighters and pay these warriors what they deserve,” De La Hoya wrote on Twitter.
Minutes later, White offered his rebuttal replying to The Golden Boy’s message.
“[Shut the f--- up] you crack head. Faking that you had COVID-19 and robbing me of watching you get [knocked the f--- out] by Vitor Belfort. You should win an Academy Award for your hospital performance,” wrote White.
The MMA executive was referring to De La Hoya pulling out of his Sept. 11 fight against Belfort one week before the event due to contracting coronavirus. Evander Holyfield stepped in as a late replacement opponent only to lose to Belfort via first-round stoppage.
White was asked in July what he had to say to those who criticized how the UFC paid its fighters.
“The reality is anybody who’s being critical outside of the fighters themselves don’t know anything anyway,” said White. “They don’t actually know what these guys are making. And the fighters don’t ever come out and tell you. There’s no gag order on any of these guys. These guys can come out at any time and tell you what they’re making. I have no problem with that. But they don’t, do they? No, they do not. So it’s sort of a Catch-22.
“Fighter pay has continually gone up every year since we owned the business. Obviously, there’s been tons more opportunities with the outfitting policy, some of the sponsors that we’ve brought in that spend tons of money with the fighters too. There’s a lot of opportunity here for the fighters. And listen, there’s never gonna be a guy that’s coming out and saying, ‘Yeah, they’re paying me too much. They’re overpaying me. And all of these guys that are champions share in the pay-per-view revenue.
“Listen, if you don’t like it, go start your own MMA league and pay ‘em whatever you want to pay ‘em. This is mine and this is the way we’re doing it.”
De La Hoya was not entirely feisty Saturday night.
He congratulated Oleksandr Usyk for winning the heavyweight titles, encouraged Anthony Joshua to keep his head up following the loss, and even livestreamed a facial treatment from his girlfriend Holly Sonders.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com