In the middle of Darren Till’s decision win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244, UFC President Dana White got a frantic phone call from MGM Grand executives.
While the UFC’s co-main event was in the Octagon, the fans inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena witnessed an early end to Ryan Garcia’s co-main event fight against Romero Duno, forcing those inside the Las Vegas venue to play the waiting game as DAZN vowed to not air Canelo Alvarez’s challenge for the WBO light heavyweight title until UFC 2444 concluded.
Even though DAZN made the right moves for the fans watching at home, that meant those who had paid upwards of several thousand dollars to sit ringside for the boxing card produced by Golden Boy Promotions needed to wait nearly 90 minutes between the Garcia fight and Alvarez’s eventual 11th round knockout of Sergey Kovalev.
“So we were sitting there, and MGM called and said that, ‘you guys are halfway through your co-main event right now, people are losing their minds here,’ or whatever. ‘Can we show the Diaz fight at the MGM,” UFC President Dana White explained following UFC 244.
“And I was just like, ‘Holy sh-t! This is crazy! This is getting crazier by the minute!’ I woke up and dreamed all this, that it could happen. It was nuts. And of course, we said yes, and they did and wow.”
“They’re not showing my main event at their cards because somebody won and lost, it’s a much bigger picture than that,” White said of the venue showing Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz’s battle for the BMF title while Alvarez and Kovalev waited in their dressing rooms, not making their ring walk until after 10pm in Las Vegas.
“You guys know how I am, I f—-ing hate Oscar De La Hoya, he’s a scumbag, a snake. I told him not to go on this night. He did what he wanted to do and here we are. I respect Canelo and all the other fighters and guys who participate in the sport of boxing, and we got it worked out yesterday to where fans could see the other fights.
“He didn’t do any of that. You think that idiot did that?. He did none of that. It was much smarter people that surround him that started to do stuff, it wasn’t that moron. He’s an assh-le. How much more can I prove myself that this guy is an assh-le and a complete f— up.
“Right up to this fight, everything he’s done. I used to help this guy, promote his fights, go on social media and say I’m watching,” White said of De La Hoya, who has had a very public feud with White since 2017. “Then we did [Conor] McGregor [vs. Floyd] Mayweather, he tells people not to watch. Who does that? He says it’s a disgrace to boxing. Then he says he wants to fight McGregor next. He’s a snake, an all around bad guy. He’s really f—ing weird too. Just to top it off.”