Trump and his two sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump attended UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden in New York City with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Peter King (R-NY).
Trump himself saw a mixed reaction from MMA fans at Madison Square Garden, with both cheers and boos audible in the crowd.
The appearance was his first in New York City since announcing he was changing his permanent residence to Florida and also marked the first time a sitting president attended an MMA event.
Leery of the protests that surround Trump Tower whenever he returns to NY, the president has not come home often since taking office. The spectators were holding signs which read, "Remove Trump" and "Impeach Trump". I know fighters. Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump is a fighter and I know he will fight for this country, ' he told the Cleveland crowd. "Shout out to that boy Donald Trump", said the fighter in the Octagon after picking up the win. Dana White said it was the greatest entrance he has seen into a UFC.
"Donald was the first guy who recognized the potential that we saw in the UFC and encouraged us to build our business", stated UFC President Dana White.
President Trump's next major event will take place on Monday in Kentucky, where he will deliver remarks at a rally with Governor Matt Bevin.
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Jorge Masvidal, who won the headline fight against Nate Diaz, was asked his opinion of the President in the run-up to the event.
Diaz was stopped by doctors from heading out for the fourth round due to a nasty gash above his right eye, handing Masvidal victory in an anticlimactic end to a bout he had nonetheless dominated.
During the live pay-per-view coverage of the event, the camera focused on Trump several times.
Trump, who traveled with Reps.
"He is from NY and he likes this kind of stuff". It's clear from some of the videos that, more than anything, he faced a mixed response in New York City. Recently, he's become a friend of the Las Vegas-based UFC, and White endorsed him for president in 2016. That's going to be a rough one! "You gotta turn that s*** around in 2020". "If you want to boo, you can boo". "But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything, in all fairness", Trump told reporters in Washington prior to his departure for NY.
A few days earlier Masvidal told the press that he was humbled by the chance to fight in front of the president.