In a painful intersection between the worlds of politics and cagefighting, presumptive Republican presidential-nominee Donald Trump told the New York Times he wants UFC president Dana White to speak at the Republican National Convention.
Really, I only say “ugh” because I hate when politics intrudes upon our sacred sport, but whatever, at least MMA isn’t toiling in obscurity anymore.
As per the New York Times:
After regaling the crowd with the long story of how he successfully courted the endorsement of Bobby Knight, the former Indiana University basketball coach, Mr. Trump rattled off a list of other names of sports figures who he said have supported him. According to the candidate, he also has the support of the star quarterbacks Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger; Brian France, the chief executive of Nascar; and Dana White, the president of Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“Dana White, you know Dana White?” Mr. Trump asked the crowd. “U.F.C. Guy’s a champion. These are champions.”
He said he wanted to have them all address the convention, to be held next month in Cleveland, as examples of “winners,” rather than “these people, these politicians who are going to get up and speak and speak and speak.”
In case you don’t know, when Zuffa first bout the UFC it was banned almost everywhere. The newly-adopted Unified Rules made the sport a little more palatable, but White and company still had a hard time convincing places to host shows. But Trump was totally cool with having UFCs at his casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., so he’s kind of been a supporter of the sport for a long time.