Dana White and Donald Trump have a very close relationship.
That should be known to anyone who has been following mixed martial arts for a while, but it was even more evident in recent years.
White notably endorsed Trump at the Republican National Convention prior to the latter’s eventual 2016 presidential victory. The UFC president also endorsed Trump for his 2020 reelection campaign and took part in rallies.
And for White, that was the least he could do given how Trump helped him run events in Atlantic City during the UFC’s dark age in the early 2000s.
“This brand was so bad, venues didn’t even want us. Arenas didn’t want us,” White told The Pivot Podcast (via Bloody Elbow). “We had a hard time finding venues. Trump literally called us. He said ‘Come to my place, do the event here. We’ll have you at the Trump Taj Mahal.’
“We get there, greatest set up for us. Showed up at the first fight and he was there until the last fight. Both times we went there.”
Dana White: I’m Not Saying No To Trump
Eventually, Trump’s help allowed the UFC to become legitimate in the eyes of the public as they started hosting events in Las Vegas on a regular basis.
But despite the business relationship coming to an end, Trump and White remained very close.
And when he was asked to speak for Trump at the Republican National Convention, White couldn’t say no despite everyone telling him otherwise.
“Everything that happened to me in my career from there on out, he’d pick up the phone and congratulate me. Or send something,” White added. “He’s always been a solid guy with me.
“So then he calls me and says he’s running for President. He said ‘If you don’t wanna do this, I completely understand, but I would be honored if you would speak at the National Republican Convention for me.’ Everyone told me not to do it… Everything this guy’s done for me, I’m gonna tell him no? That’s not me.”
Unsurprisingly, the pair remain close even today and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Trump involved with the UFC at some point, even if it’s just attending an event like he’s done in recent years.