In his two years at the White House, Donald Trump has been frequently cited as one of the most divisive, unpopular and controversial presidents in history, but on the other hand, for the best part of two decades now he’s been a strong ally for the sport of mixed martial arts.

In this article we’ll look back at President Trump’s long association with MMA, from his business dealings with major promotions through to his close personal relationships with some of the biggest names in the sport.

UFC At The Trump Taj Mahal

In the late 1990’s MMA was forced off of pay-per-view and banned in many states due to political pressure being applied from the likes of Senator John McCain, who had branded it, “human cock-fighting.”

That relegated the UFC to operating in much smaller markets and venues, but in the year 2000, Donald Trump bucked the trend by hosting one of their event at the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City.

UFC 28  took place at the 5,200 seater venue in November of that year, while when the Fertitta brothers purchased the organization soon afterwards and installed Dana White as president, they also chose to host their first two events, UFC 30 and UFC 31, at the Taj Mahal.

With the UFC now regaining momentum, UFC 32 was upgraded to the larger Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey, with Trump helping to facilitate the deal and then attending alongside a sell-out 12,500 crowd.

“I’m never going to say anything bad about Donald Trump — ever. Ever, ever, ever,” Mr. White once told OBJECTified. ” That guy gave us our start when nobody would talk to us.”

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