Among the throngs of supporters for the United States’ 45th president at the event was a range of well-known UFC personalities – including Dana White, Colby Covington, Henry Cejudo, Justin Gaethje and even Khabib’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, who presumably wasn’t entirely happy when Trump repeated Gaethje’s claim that the American was going to “knock out” his opponent in their upcoming world title fight.
Trump also heaped praise on Dana White, who recently spoke in support of him during the Republican National Convention, hailing the UFC president as “so smart, so tough, so cunning” as he described the growth of the UFC from a niche sport to a multi-billion dollar industry.
“I gave (Dana White) a place a long time ago,” Trump said of hosting early UFC events in his properties.
“All I know, is just like we have outside, we had lines. I was like ‘what the hell is going on here, Dana? This place is packed!’ We were packed, we had thousands of people.
“I was so nice, I said ‘let’s do it again, Dana.’ We did it again, and again, and again, and it became the UFC. And he sold it, and had a big chunk of it, and he got four billion dollars — what he sold it, four billion! That’s not too bad, Dana!
“He’s an incredible guy, and he also loves his fighters. He wants to take care of his fighters, and he brought some of them, among the best.”
Trump and the UFC have had a close connection recently. In addition to Dana White and Colby Covington’s vocal support of the U.S. President, two of Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, were cageside for Colby Covington’s 2019 win against Robbie Lawler.
Trump also took time to nod towards the highly-anticipated UFC lightweight title bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje, saying that Gaethje has a tough fight “the number one rated pound-for-pound fighter.”
“[Gaethje has] a tremendous fight coming up against the number one rated pound-for-pound fighter,” Trump said, adding: “We’re going to be watching. It’s right before the election, but we’re going to be watching it, okay? I’ll be watching. You better believe it. It’s going to be an incredible fight.“
And, to avoid breaking the heart of his most vocal supporter in the UFC, Trump also met with Covington, telling the MAGA-supporting fighter that he will be watching his upcoming fight with Tyron Woodley with great interest.