Back in 2006, the relations between Tito Ortiz and his former manager turned UFC president Dana White were at their lowest ebb.
The two didn’t see eye to eye over business and had something of a personality clash. The roots of the issue were Ortiz’s UFC 47 title defence against Chuck Liddell, which at the time promised to be the UFC’s biggest-selling pay-per-view to date. He was offered $70,000.
Ortiz left the UFC shortly afterwards. In 2006 he negotiated a return and as part of his contract he asked White to consenst to a three-round boxing match. White agreed and preparations began. The fight was actually going to be sold as a pay-per-view and Spike TV had a 90-minute documentary in the works to build up to it.
In the event Ortiz did not show up to the weigh ins and the story, at least officially, is that he decided to “let [Dana] off the hook”. Whether that’s true or not, Spike ended up having to make the documentary into one about the build-up to the fight that never happened.
In retrospect the prospect of White fighting Ortiz seems ridiculous and its not something you’ll see agreed to again as the UFC becomes increasingly corporate. But the documentary is still reasonably interesting because you can see that White can actually box a bit and that Tito Ortiz rarely moves his head. So the fight would have been interesting – Ortiz’s pace versus White’s better boxing skills.
White talks about the aborted match in this appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience: