The current US President Donald J. Trump's friendship with UFC President Dana White is quite well known to the MMA fans. They have known each other since 2001.
Dana White was quite vocal in his support of Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential Campaign as well as 2020's. On both occasions, Dana White spoke at the Republican National Convention and was part of Trump's rallies for election and re-election respectively.
Dana White: Nobody took UFC seriously except Donald Trump
The connection between Donald Trump and UFC goes all the way back to the earliest days of the company. When Dana White bought a struggling UFC in 2001 along with Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, Donald Trump arranged for the first couple of events to take place at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Dana White talked about it during the 2016 Presidential campaign.
"Arenas around the world refused to host our events. Nobody took us seriously; nobody except Donald Trump. Donald was the first guy that recognized the potential that we saw in the UFC and encouraged us to build our business."
2020 not only saw Dana White, but several other UFC fighters endorse Donald Trump leading up to the Presidential election in November. UFC Welterweights Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington are two of his biggest supporters, among others.
BMF titleholder Jorge Masvidal even spoke in a 'Fighters Against Socialism' campaign hosted by the President's son, Donald Trump Jr. for the reelection campaign.
"Obviously I am not a politician. I may not be schooled in a lot of these political issues like some of you, but I do know Latinos. Latinos are not lazy people looking for a handout. Latinos don’t want free stuff, we want freedom."
President Trump made an appearance at UFC 244 as well, where Jorge Masvidal defeated Nate Diaz via doctor's stoppage knockout to become the BMF Champion UFC.
A handful of UFC fighters were present at Trump's Great American Comeback, where the POTUS praised Dana White and called him "an incredible guy". He had good words to say about other fighters as well.
"These are not people you want to pick a fight with because under those beautiful suits, there’s a lot of muscle, a lot of power, a lot of genius for fighting, and for other things."
Trump was later photographed with eminent UFC personalities, including Dana White, former two-division Champ Henry Cejudo, Colby Covington, Justin Gaethje, and Ali Abdelaziz.
When UFC managed to host UFC 249 amid the global pandemic, Donald Trump's congratulatory message played during the broadcast.
“I want to congratulate (UFC President) Dana White and the UFC. They’re going to have a big match. We love it. We think it’s important. Get the sports leagues back. Let’s play. Do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do. We need sports. We want our sports back. Congratulations to Dana White and UFC.”Published 17 Dec 2020, 20:03 IST