UFC president and Donald Trump ally Dana White is slated to speak at the Republican National Convention this week.
White is a longtime Trump supporter who spoke for the president at the 2016 RNC when he accepted the party’s nomination for office. White introduced Trump at a February rally in Colorado proclaiming that “he’s doing great things for this country.”
White will speak on Thursday alongside other speakers Ivanka Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
White’s relationship with Trump
White’s relationship with Trump dates back to 2001, when Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey hosted UFC 30 and 31, the first events after White had purchased UFC with business partners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. White cited Trump’s support as integral to the UFC’s success when he spoke at the 2016 RNC.
While White has stumped for Trump, the president has supported UFC since taking office and used last November’s UFC 244 as a photo op. Trump’s arrival at the New York event in Madison Square Garden marked the first time a U.S. president attended a mixed martial arts event.
Trump, White in step with COVID-19 response
White repeatedly shunned expert advice in pursuing UFC events at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic while citing Trump’s guidance. UFC was one of the first sports leagues to hold an event amid the U.S. outbreak on May 9 in Jacksonville, Florida.
As UFC prepared for the May 9 event, White said that Trump would be watching “as a blueprint to reopen the country.” As of Sunday, the United States claimed 5.68 million of the world’s 23.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 176,583 of the world’s confirmed 806,197 deaths attributed to the pandemic.
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