Dana White and Chuck Liddell enjoy a relationship which extends far beyond work.
Before the Boston-native assumed presidency of the UFC, he managed a host of top fighters, including LIddell as well as Tito Ortiz.
Alongside childhood friend Lorenzo Fertitta, he eventually bought the company in 2001 for just $2million and sold it for $4.2billion in 2016.
Liddell and White have enjoyed some crazy times together
However, his friendship with Liddell remained tight throughout the entirety of his ascent to the top of the combat sports world and was forged during the early years of the UFC when both men could tour the US and not get stopped by adoring fans.
In his autobiography, Iceman, Liddell recalled a story shared between the two men during the early years of the Fertitta-White ownership when they sought to drive support for the burgeoning organisation, by any means possible.
Those first few years no one knew us on the East Coast, he wrote. I toured Ibiza, Spain, with Dana and was stopped every five feet.
But in Boston or New York or Philly, I was just some guy with a Mohawk people crossed the street to avoid. One night we went out after a day of pushing the UFC and wound up at our hotel at around two in the morning.
Liddell’s intimidating skull tattoo drew plenty of glances
It was a fancy place, not the kind of joint where youd try to take someone down in the lobby. But the basement, thats another story.
While I went straight back to my room that night, Dana got into a conversation with one of the hotel security guards, who wanted to know what was up with Danas buddy with the tattoo on his head.
Dana told him I was a UFC fighter. The guys first response was This is all crap. None of that stuff is real.
Dana answered, Ive got five grand in my pocket and I guarantee that you cant last five minutes with Chuck Liddell. The guy took the bet.
A swift neck crank put an end to the hotel brawl
Then Dana called me down into the lobby. He told me he had five grand riding on me to beat the crap out of this hotel security guard, who used to be a high school wrestler.
I had two minutes to make him tap out. Anything less, and Dana was out five thousand bucks.
Within a few minutes a large portion of the hotel staff were in the lobby of this four-star hotel at two in the morning to see the ultimate fighter take on the hotel security guard.
It was like the old days of Vale Tudo fighting in Brazil we were all part of the circus, just looking to entertain the masses, make a few bucks, and win a few fans.
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And, in less than two minutes, just as Dana asked, it was over.
Before the guard could make a real move, I put him in a neck crank that was so fierce he started yelling, I cant see, I cant see. I let him go and he was writhing in pain on the ground, Afterwards Dana and I went out for cannoli.
Dana saw the guy the next day and he looked to be in so much pain Dana felt bad and gave the guy some money anyway.
Part of him of him probably did it so we didnt get sued.
And when Liddell decided to make a comeback to the cage at the age of 50, White’s concern for his friend was evident.
He attempted to persuade him not to fight former foe Ortiz, but despite his opposition to the idea he still supported him.