Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White gave a speech last night at the Republican National Convention in support of Trump, as reported in the LA Times. White has been a promoter for UFC since he partnered with others in the organization in 2001. White also made news earlier this month when his net worth increased significantly due to his nine percent share in the UFC, which was sold for $4 billion. The UFC was bought by the William Morris Endeavor-IMG (WMC-IMG) for $4 billion according to an earlier Inquisitr article about White’s net worth after the sale.
While White is usually a fight promoter for the UFC, his appearance at the RNC was not to promote fighting, but to promote Donald Trump for President of the U.S. However, White gave a very passionate speech at the RNC in Cleveland, Ohio in Trump’s support, saying that “Donald Trump is a fighter and I know he will fight for this country.”
White said that Trump had shown support of the UFC after White and Lorenzo Fertitta purchased the organization in 2001, allowing UFC fights to be staged at Trump’s property in Atlantic City. Minutes after House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that Trump was the Republican nominee for President, White began his speech with an enthusiastic “What’s up GOP?”
White said that he was not a politician and said that most of the audience was probably wondering what he was doing, speaking at the Republican National Convention. White said that he was “blown-away and honored” to be invited to speak at the RNC, and he wanted to tell everyone about his friend, Donald Trump, the Donald Trump that he knew. White said that when the UFC was bought by himself and others in 2001, it was considered a “blood sport,” and that arenas around the world refused to host UFC events, no one wanted to promote the UFC, except for Donald Trump.
White said that Trump was the first person to see the potential that White and the other owners saw in the UFC, and encouraged them to build their business. In fact, UFC’s first two events were hosted in one of Trump’s venues in Atlantic City. White said that Trump “dealt with us personally, he got in the trenches with us, and he made a deal that worked for everyone. On top of that, he showed up for the fight on Saturday night and sat on the front row.”
“Yeah, he’s that guy – he shows up.”
White said that he would always be grateful to Trump because he “championed for the UFC before it was popular, before it grew into a successful business.”
White said that was why he was standing by Trump as President. White said that there were three things he respected about Trump, great business instinct, that he is a hard worker, and that Trump had been a loyal and supportive friend of White for over 15 years. With Trump’s business instincts, White said that Trump supports businesses of all sizes, and would make it possible for them to grow and succeed, which is the backbone of a strong economy.
White said he wasn’t sure if he would vote for Trump last year, and that he “wasn’t too thrilled” with the option.s
White went on to say that with Trump’s hard work ethics, he would “roll up his sleeves,” and work with people and put in time to get things done. Of Trump’s friendship, White said that he could always count on Trump. If he needed him, Trump would be there for him, and that Trump had always been supportive of White and the UFC. White said that Trump had always reached out to him when something had happened in White’s career. White said that Trump had nothing to do with his career and business, but that Trump’s interest in White was personal. White said that you could really tell about someone’s true character when they were happy for someone else’s success.
White ended his speech by saying that Trump’s sense of loyalty and commitment will “translate into how he will run this country,” and that we need “someone who believes in this country, someone who’s proud of this country, who will fight for this country.”
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[Photo by John/Locher/AP Images]