UFC Boss Dana White to Speak Before President Trump Accepts Nomination
Posted on: August 27, 2020, 08:45h.
Last updated on: August 27, 2020, 11:12h.
UFC President Dana White will speak in support of President Donald Trump tonight before the Commander-in-Chief accepts the GOP nomination on the South Lawn of the White House.
Democrats have no problem attracting celebrities to speak on the party’s behalf. Eva Longoria, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Kerry Washington are among the notable actresses who emceed at last week’s Democratic National Convention. But tonight, the GOP pulls in one of Las Vegas’ most recognizable faces, the man behind what’s become the most successful mixed martial arts (MMA) league in the sport’s history.
I don’t care what people think of me,” White told MMA Junkie in response to a question about his support of the President, who has been deemed divisive by many on the left. “Doesn’t bother me.”
“Listen, this is America. Everybody has their own opinions and their own choices,” White continued. “There’s tons of guys that hate Trump, whether it’s celebrities or whatever, and I’m cool with all of them. We’re all cool.”
Trump Credited for UFC Success
The UFC has been a major sport for Nevada oddsmakers since the mid-2000s.
With legal sports betting expanding across the country, and professional and collegiate sports on hold because of COVID-19, interest in the UFC has surged in 2020, as White has been able to continue the action. UFC 249: Ferguson vs. Gaethje, contested without fans in Jacksonville, Florida, on May 9, was one of the most-bet UFC fights ever.
White says Trump played a critical role in the UFC during its early struggles. The then-Atlantic Casino owner allowed the UFC to host its fights in his Trump Taj Mahal (now Hard Rock) three times between 2000-2001.
The UFC boss says Trump stepped in when the MMA league was struggling to find host sites.
“Donald championed the UFC before it was popular, before it grew into a successful business,” White said in 2016. “I will always be so grateful to him for standing with us in those early days.”
White, worth an estimated $500 million, gave $1 million to the president’s reelection campaign in February. He isn’t the only massively wealthy Nevadan supporting the president’s reelection.
White’s former bosses, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III, who owned the UFC before selling it in 2016 for $4 billion, have donated $1.44 million. Billionaire Phil Ruffin, owner of Treasure Island and Circus Circus, has given more than $250,000. Blackstone Group billionaire Stephen Schwarzman has contributed over $3.5 million to Trump PACs.
And most importantly to the President, Las Vegas Sands billionaire Sheldon Adelson is preparing to spend millions of dollars to keep Trump in the White House. After delaying the opening of his deep pockets, worth some $33 billion, Adelson’s top government advisor confirmed earlier this month that the casino tycoon and his wife Dr. Miriam Adelson, are fully behind the President.
UK bookmakers have the odds on the November 3 winner at nearly a toss-up. Democratic nominee Joe Biden is at 5/6, and Trump at even money.
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