UFC president Dana White was among those listed to speak in support of U.S. President Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention this week.
When Republicans revealed the list of speakers for the week, White was listed to speak on Thursday. He will join the likes of HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, White House Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, among others.
The history and friendship between White and Trump is a long one. Trump was one of the earliest supports of the UFC when Dana White and the Fertitta Brothers bought the company in 2001.
As White noted during his 2016 Republican National Convention speech in support of Trump:
“In 2001, my partners and I bought the UFC and it was basically considered a blood sport. State athletic commissions didn’t support us, 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. He hosted our first two events at his venue. He dealt with us personally. He got in the trenches with us and he made a deal that worked for everyone. On top of that, he showed up for the fight on Saturday night and sat in the front row. He’s that guy. He shows up.
“Donald championed the UFC before it was popular, before it grew into a successful business, and I will always be grateful to him for standing with us in those early days. So tonight, I stand with Donald Trump.”
Trump was also the first sitting U.S. President to attend a live UFC event. He was in attendance at UFC 244 in New York, where Jorge Masvidal defeated Nate Diaz for the BMF title in the night’s main event.
(Photo and video courtesy of Republican National Convention)