Oscar De La Hoya may be a first time mixed martial arts promoter but it appears the first ever Golden Boy MMA card won’t be the last.
This Saturday night, UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz will square off for the third time in a Golden Boy promoted event in Los Angeles that will air live on pay-per-view.
The Golden Boy founder has seen how MMA promotion was done from the outside looking in for years but now that he’s finally dipped his big toe into the water, De La Hoya has to admit he’s enjoyed himself.
“It’s been wonderful, it’s been great,” De La Hoya told MMAWeekly on Tuesday. “Being in the boxing business practically all my life, I really see no differences in terms of promoting a fight. The difference is, which I believe I’ve never done in boxing, I’m promoting arguably two of the most recognized MMA fighters on the planet in Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
“They promote themselves basically. They’ve been pioneers for the sport for so long. When I think about MMA, I think about Tito and Chuck. It’s been a fun a ride.”
Now De La Hoya’s primary business has always been boxing and that’s probably never going to change.
The former champion just recently inked a massive deal with DAZN streaming service for exclusivity to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s fights for the next five years at a whopping price tag of $365 million.
“The way things are looking, I strongly feel I will,” De La Hoya stated when asked if he would promote more MMA events. “The promotion has been going great. Ticket sales are outstanding. I don’t have an indication on what the pay-per-views will do but as far as I’m concerned, the fighters have already won. We have already won.
“Yes, it is a different outlet. It’s another opportunity for fighters.”
De La Hoya says one of the biggest reasons he got involved in MMA promotion in the first place was because he was shocked at how little fighters were making in the sport, especially when compared to the massive purses won by boxers.
That’s why De La Hoya has no problem making a bold prediction when it comes to the paychecks that will be handed out to Liddell and Ortiz on Saturday night.
“I can guarantee you one thing — come Saturday night when the fight is over, when the fighters get paid, when the pay-per-view revenues come in a few weeks later, I guarantee you Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell will probably make the most money they’ve ever made in their entire careers,” De La Hoya said.
As far as the future goes, De La Hoya only has the one Golden Boy MMA card scheduled but that doesn’t mean he’s not interested in promoting more fights going forward.
Free agency has become a hot topic in MMA in recent years and De La Hoya says he has an open line to any top fighters who are looking for a new home.
“If there’s an MMA fighter out there who is a free agent and he’s a big star in the sport or even top 50, give me a call,” De La Hoya stated. “We are right here. We are willing. We are ready. This is my passion. Combat sports is my passion. I’ve learned over the years whether you’re in the Octagon or you’re in the ring, you’re a fighter and I promote fighting. I promote boxing. I promote MMA now.
“If you’re a free agent, give me a call.”