On Saturday, President Trump became the first president in United States history to attend an Ultimate Fighting Championship event when he attended UFC 244 at the Madison Square Garden.
While the office of the presidency may be new to the sport of mixed martial arts, President Trump is far from a stranger from the man who heads the organization, UFC President Dana White.
White, during a post-fight interview, was asked about Trump’s appearance—which was met with a myriad of cheers and boos by the New York crowd—where he said he shares a meaningful professional relationship with him.
Initially answering a question on when White knew of Trump’s interest in attending an event, the UFC president said he knew since election day in 2016.
White said, after the results rolled in and Trump was made aware that he was the presidency, that Trump called him and invited him to the victory party. Then, that night he told White he was interested in attending the UFC event on the very next night which headlined by fighter Conor McGregor.
Trump ultimately told White he would not be able to attend as the political nastiness would “have ruined his event,” White said. Trump allegedly told White that he would find another event to attend when they had more time to plan for his appearance.
The UFC president then shared a softer side of Trump that the mainstream media has never given him credit for concerning the origins of the MMA company.
White said after he bought the UFC, no venue—anywhere—would allow him to host the fighting events, which is often referred to as a “bloodsport.”
It was not until real estate mogul Donald Trump (not yet president) took action to secure the Taj Mahal for the UFC. White said they hosted their first two events there under the ZUFFA banner.
“Trump got us great deals and showed up to the fights and stayed to the end,” White said during the interview. He then explained the UFC moved onto another venue where Trump followed and attended the events.
“Everything that ever happened to me in my career, Trump was the first guy to pick up the phone and reach out to me,” White said. “From getting back on pay per view, from getting our first tv deal, the guy always reached out to me.”
White later called Trump “the most stand up guy since I’ve met him” and said he has visited the White House four times since Trump’s inauguration.
“He did everything he said he would do,” White added, commending the president and his work in the White House.
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Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
“Everything that ever happened to me in my career, Trump was the first guy to pick up the phone and reach out to me.” pic.twitter.com/lYekGMr7VR
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 4, 2019