It appears that Dana White’s well-known admiration for President Trump is mutual.
President of the United States, Donald Trump, whose early support for the Ultimate Fighting Championship is frequently mentioned in the narrative of the promotion’s rise, affirmed his close relationship with UFC President Dana White at a campaign rally on Sept. 13. In his remarks, Trump praised White, stating that White not only helped make MMA a popular sport, but also made a lot of money when the UFC was sold to Endeavor.
"He can make everything," Trump said. "He is so smart, so tough, so cunning. He's been a friend of mine for a long time. I've been a friend of his."
The friendship between White and Trump dates back to 2001, when Trump allowed the UFC to host events at the Trump Taj Mahal and other Trump venues while other arenas rejected them. At the 2016 Republican National Convention, White publicly endorsed Trump, support that he has reaffirmed ahead of the 2020 election by speaking on the President’s behalf as well as donating $1 million to a committee that supports Trump's re-election.
"He also loves his fighters. He wants to take care of his fighters, and he brought some of them along, the best," Trump added, referring to former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington (15-2), retired former UFC two-division champion Henry Cejudo (16-2) and current interim UFC lightweight champion Justin Gaethje (22-2), who sat beside White and prominent MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz.
Trump also had some words of praise for Covington, who has been an outspoken supporter of the president. “Chaos” visited the White House back in 2018 after winning the interim welterweight title, and had Trump family members as cageside guests for his unsuccessful title shot against Kamaru Usman at UFC 245.
"He is a great fighter," Trump said. A few moments before, the POTUS urged Republicans to follow Covington’s example and fight like him. Shortly after the rally, Covington and Trump met backstage, where Trump gave Covington encouragement for his upcoming fight against Tyron Woodley at UFC Fight Night 178.
"I'm going to be watching Colby, I'm a big fan of Colby," he stated. "He is a winner. He is a champ. It's going to be a great evening and a great fight."
The president also said that he would watch the main event of UFC 254 on Oct. 24, where he expects Gaethje to knock out Khabib Nurmagomedov.
"He said he's going to knock him out," Trump said. "Well, we're going to be watching. It's right before the election, but I think I'm going to be watching it, OK? I'll be watching it. You better believe it. It's going to be an incredible fight."
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