Dana White Reveals How Donald Trump Played an Instrumental Role in the Success of the UFC

Published 12/29/2021, 6:30 AM EST
PHOENIX, AZ – JUNE 10: Dana White prepares for the face-offs while meeting with the press and the fans during the UFC 263 press conference on June 10, 2021, at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, AZ. (Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


UFC is not just the biggest MMA promotion, but it is one of the biggest brands in the world. It has a huge fan following, and it just seems to keep growing. UFC President Dana White is the reason for the success that the UFC has found.

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However, it wasn’t always like this. When White (and the Fertitta brothers) bought the promotion back in 2001, they struggled to get the eyeballs on the sport, and few venues wanted to entertain them. They struggled to break even on their investment, but there was one man that supported them from day one.

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According to Dana White, Donald Trump was that guy. In a recent interview, White praised the former U.S. President. He said, “When we first bought this thing, this thing had such a bad stigma attached to it that venues didn’t even want us to come there… He got it, he loved it, and he said we’d love to have you at the Taj Mahal. Cut us a great deal, showed up for the first fight of the night, and stayed till the last fight of the night. Watched the whole show, both the shows that we at the Taj.”

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“And then after that, every good thing that ever happened to me in my career, Trump would reach out, out of the blue. And say congratulations, I’m so happy for you. I knew you guys were going to make it. Couldn’t be a nicer guy,” he added.

Dana White repaid the support he received in the initial days of the UFC

Donald Trump has always been one of the main benefactors of the UFC and Dana White. He was there for the company when they needed support to find their feet. Once, when Trump called the UFC president to speak at one of his conventions, White obliged.

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White said, “He calls me up and says, I would like you to speak for me at the convention. Everybody and I mean f***ing everybody told me not to do it… I’m like, ‘Are you crazy, man?’ Just for the record, when Trump called me he said, Uh, listen, if you don’t want to do this, I completely understand. It’s no big deal. But I would be honored if you would speak at the convention.”

“Yeah, there’s no f***ing way in hell I’m not doing that for him. Then once I spoke, you know, our friendship went to a whole another level.”

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Watch this story: Top 5 Biggest Rivalries in the History of the UFC

What do you think of Donald Trump’s gesture to the UFC in its initial days? Let us know in the comments!

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Arunaditya Aima

471 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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