Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White barely lowered his voice below a bellow as he delivered a fiery speech in support of Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention Tuesday.
Opening with a hearty, “What’s up GOP?” White detailed his friendship with Trump, which began when the mogul took an interest in the burgeoning fighting league. “In 2001, my partners and I bought the UFC and it was basically considered a blood sport,” White reminisced. “State athletic commissions didn’t support us, arenas around the world refused to host our events. Nobody took us seriously. Nobody — except Donald Trump.”
White praised Trump for not just hosting UFC 30 and 31 at his venues (the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City), but for working closely with the mixed martial arts league and continuing to champion the league as it grew. The UFC president then made his final pitch for a Trump presidency, enumerating the three qualities he admired most about the candidate.
The first two — he’s a hard worker, he’s got great business instincts (though those involved in the United States Football League, among other failed Trump ventures, might differ) — were loosely tied to the RNC’s night-two theme, “Make America Work Again.” The last found White heaping praise on Trump for being a good friend and selflessly reaching out with a kind word before a big fight or after a big deal.
With a vigorous, nearly defensive yell, White concluded, “In my opinion, you can really tell a person’s true character when they’re happy for somebody else’s success, OK? And I think that sense of loyalty and commitment will translate into how he will run this country.”
Then, amazingly, White’s voice grew several decibels louder as he proclaimed: “I’ve been in the fight business my whole life. I know fighters. Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump is a fighter and I know he will fight for this country.”