Recently, UFC President Dana White made an appearance on ‘Conan’ to discuss all things relating to MMA.
Of course a superfight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was discussed, however one of the segments which has received the most attention is White’s account of a time he and Tito Ortiz got into a full blown brawl on a private plane ride to Japan.
“We were on a private plane on our way to Japan, and it was my partners, the Fertitta brothers, myself, Tito Ortiz and our matchmaker at the time, Joe Silva,” White told host Conan O’Brien. “Tito and I were messing around, and he put me in what’s called a neck crank.
“I was tapping, and he didn’t stop. You can seriously hurt somebody in a neck crank, especially as big and strong as Tito is. So I just started blasting him in the ribs – started punching him in the ribs – and when he let go, (I) just jumped up, and it was just a full blown fistfight in the plane. We were literally taking off, and the plane was (going back and forth), and the Fertitta brothers had to jump in and break up the fight.”
Unsurprisingly, Ortiz has a rather different account of the incident. He spoke to MMAJunkie briefly via text message, saying:
“Yes, of him (saying) stop stop Tito!!!! I was manhandling him. But it was fun.”
Of course, as many members of the MMA community know, Ortiz and White were set to fight at one point until the NSAC stepped in at the last moment and sanctioned the fight, with the boxing match ultimately being scrapped the week of the event.
Despite White being Ortiz’ first manager, it’s no secret that the pair have a very rocky relationship.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/21/2017.