Donald Trump Seen with UFC Boss White at Red Rock Casino

Posted on: July 9, 2023, 10:50h. 

Last updated on: July 10, 2023, 11:43h.

Former President Donald Trump was seen with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White Saturday at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa, just hours before “UFC 290.”

Trump UFC
President Trump (left) and UFC President Dana White enter T-Mobile Arena for UFC 290 Saturday. (Image: MMA Weekly)

The 45th US president is a well-known UFC fan, having attended multiple events of the popular combat sport in the past. In addition to a long-standing relationship with White, who spoke before Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination in 2020, the former president has earned praise from UFC fighters Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal, and has drawn raucous ovations when he’s announced at UFC events.

Trump, widely viewed as the presumptive GOP nominee in 2024, attended “UFC 290” at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip. He was escorted into the arena by White and commentator Joe Rogan.

Las Vegas Stop Not All Fun, Games for Trump

While Trump stopped by Red Rock, which by some accounts, is the highest-rated casino hotel in Las Vegas, and took in “UFC 290,” the former president’s time in Sin City wasn’t all fun and games.

Trump reportedly hosted a volunteer event at Fervent: A Calvary Chapel Church Saturday afternoon. That made him just the second contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination to visit Nevada to date. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was the first. Some political observers view that trend as interesting because the state is third on the party’s 2024 primary slate.

Trump narrowly lost Nevada to President Biden in 2020, with the current president carrying the state by 2.39%. That was slightly worse than the 2.42% Hillary Clinton beat Trump by in the state in 2016. Nevada has six electoral votes.

While six electoral votes isn’t a massive haul, the narrow margins by which recent presidential candidates have won Nevada in recent elections, coupled with the state’s proximity to Arizona, another swing state, imply 2024 candidates from both parties will be spending significant time in Nevada.

Red Rock Trump Ties

Red Rock Resorts (NASDAQ: RRR) is controlled by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who are Trump supporters in their own right.

The Fertittas have donated $5.23 million to various Trump-affiliated campaign entities since 2016, with one member of the family contributing $207K to the Trump Inaugural Committee following the 2016 election. The donations have drawn the ire of the Culinary Union, the labor union that the Fertittas have long been at odds with.

The labor union is also highly political, and its politics are opposite those of the Fertittas. In 2022, the Culinary Union endorsed Nevada Democrat candidates in, essentially, across-the-board fashion. That despite the fact former Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) shut down casinos in the state during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. While the industry has rebounded, not all of those jobs have returned, as highlighted by the fact that Nevada has an unemployment rate of 5.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the highest in the nation.