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Dana White On Donald Trump Being at UFC 244, Trump Being a Supporter of the UFC

November 4, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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Dana White spoke following UFC 244 about President Donald Trump’s attendance at the show. Trump attended the show on Saturday night and inspired a vocal reaction from the crowd in attendance. Asked about it, White talked about how Trump wanted to attend UFC 205 after he was elected and how Trump has long been a supporter of the UFC. Highlights and the video are below:

On Trump wanting to go to UFC 205: “So when he was elected, he called me the night he was elected and told me to get down to the party, the afterparty. And I went, and he wanted to come to the Conor McGregor fight the next night. And obviously, he didn’t know what he didn’t know at the time, how crazy it would be. And then he called me the next morning and said, ‘You know, I’m gonna ruin your event if I go.; I think it’ll ruin it, and they’ll have to shut everything down. And I don’t think it’s a good idea. Let’s plan this again when there’s more time to plan.'”

On Trump supporting the UFC early on: “And just to tell everybody, I don’t know if you know the history. But when we first bought this company, venues didn’t want us. No venue wanted the UFC. And at that time, Trump reached out and asked us to come to the Taj Mahal. And that’s where we ended up doing the first two events under the Zuffa banner. [He] cut us great deals, showed up at the first fight, stayed to the end. We did two events with him, then we moved on to the Meadowlands. And when we left and went to the Meadowlands, he showed up to that event too, came to the first fight, stayed all night, was always good.”

On his friendship with Trump: ” Everything that ever happened to me in my career, Trump was the first guy to pick up the phone and reach out to me, from getting back on PPV, getting our first TV deal when we did the big FOX deal, I mean the guy always reached out to me. Then as [I] was starting to hear rumors that he was running for president, I got a call one day from the New York Times. And they said, ‘We’re hearing that Trump is gonna ask you to speak at the Republican National Convention. Are you gonna do it?’ And I was like, ‘What? First of all, he hasn’t called me and asked me anything. I don’t know anything about this, or whatever. And then finally, he did call me and he said, this is exactly how he said it, ‘If you don’t wanna do this, I completely understand. But I’d be honored if you’d speak at the Republican convention for me.’ And I was like, ‘I’m honored that you asked me, and of course I will.’ And I did it, and I’m telling you, since the guy’s become president, I’ve been to the White House four times for dinner, he’s been the most standup guy since the day I met him.”

On Trump being at UFC 244: “He told me, ‘I want to come to a UFC event eventually.’ So we had dinner last Thursday at the White House, and he said, ‘I’m coming. I’m coming to New York.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s gonna be a rough one. Why don’t we do Vegas on the 14th?’ And New York was the only one he could do, so he came tonight.”

On public perception of Trump: “I think that, you know, there’s this craziness going on politically right now, you know? If you’re a Trump guy, you don’t like certain types of people, or you don’t — and it’s really, there’s a lot of bulls**t in that. The country’s in a crazy place right now with all that. Did you see Michael Rappaport here tonight? Nobody hates President Trump more than Michael Rappaport, okay? And I’m very good friends with Michael Rappaport, I don’t know if anybody hates — maybe Snoop hates him more than Rappaport does. And I’m very good friends with Snoop. Lots of other people that are on one side or the other. This is a guy that’s been a really good friend to me for a long time, he’s done everything that he ever said he would do, and tonight he showed up to the event. And I think as fans of the sport, I think all of us can sort of appreciate, whatever political side you sit on, that the president of the United States came to one of our [shows].”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit MMA Weekly with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.