While other celebrities and public figures might be avoiding any association with former president Donald Trump, UFC President Dana White certainly isn’t doing so according to a recent interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
“He’s a very, very good friend of mine,” White told Carlson. “Donald Trump has been such a good friend to me since the day I met him.”
According to White, Trump had been an early supporter of the UFC, which in the last two years alone has become one of the fastest growing sport leagues in terms of popularity, particularly because the league kept operating through the Covid lockdowns which put many other sports on hold for more than a year.
“When we bought this company, this company had such a bad stigma attached to it and the sport that we couldn’t even get into venues. Venues didn’t want us. Donald Trump saw that this thing could possibly be big. Plus, he’s a sports guy. He loves sports,” said White. “He offered us to come do the event at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. He cut us a very fair deal. We went down there and we did two events with him. He showed up for the first fight and stayed till the last fight. … He took us in and he was great.”
White would go on to say that even after that first collaboration together, Trump continued to stay in his corner as the UFC got even bigger.
“Everything that ever happened to me in my career, after that, the first guy to reach out and say congratulations was Donald Trump,” White added. “Whether it was a letter — we were on the cover of the New York Times one time and he said, ‘I always knew it, Dana. Congratulations!’ and sent me the paper. Sent me a pen one time congratulating me. Always sending something and sending congratulations. A guy who is genuinely happy for your success.”
It hasn’t been a one way relationship though, White was there for Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and spoke on the nominee’s behalf at the Republican National Convention that year. White recalls that when Trump called asking if he’d be willing to do so, his response was simply “I’ll be there.”
“This guy’s been so good to me it’s unexplainable,” White continued.
Towards the end of the interview, Carlson asked what the backlash was like for White’s public and continued support Donald Trump, specifically in an environment where Cancel Culture can ruin the most formidable of reputations and careers.
“I’m in the abuse business, we take abuse everyday. So I don’t know. You’d have to explain to me what the abuse on the Trump side would be. This is what’s sad. Obviously I did not vote for President Biden. He’s my president,” White said. “He’s the president of the United States right now and I’m American. I don’t dislike or hate anybody who voted for Biden.”
He continued, “The fact that you’re the type of person that would actually hate somebody because of who they voted for, shows me exactly who you are. I don’t want to know you anyway. You’re not my kind of person and I don’t want to be friends with you either, so the feeling is very mutual.”
“And it’s not because of who you voted for, it’s because of how you carry yourself. Who you vote for or what you decide to do with your life means nothing to me. That’s your own personal choice. In America this is a free country and you can choose to vote or do whatever you want to do in your personal life,” White concluded.
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