President Donald Trump attended a UFC event this past weekend — UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden — which seemingly gives the sport of mixed martial arts some added street cred in the world of sports, regardless of your political leanings.
Many around the MMA community have reacted to the President’s appearance at MSG. Tito Ortiz, who headlined the first UFC event under the Zuffa banner at UFC 30 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ, knocking out the late Evan Tanner in the main event back in 2001, was one of the latest to chime in.
Ortiz has had a long relationship with President Trump and believes that his appearance on Saturday was a big coup for the sport.
“It was nice to see the President continue to support our sport not just as the President, but as a businessman before becoming the President,” Ortiz said of Trump in a recent interview with MMA Junkie. “He’s been a good, close friend of Dana, and I saw an interview of Dana with the President, and me and Dana don’t see eye-to-eye sometimes, but what (Dana) said (about Trump’s importance to the UFC in the early days) was the truth.”
“The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” will return to action Dec. 7 when he faces former WWE champion Alberto El Patron (AKA Alberto Del Rio) under the Combate Americas banner. Ortiz has been a big Trump supporter, and continues to support the former host of “Celebrity Apprentice” — a show on which Ortiz was a contestant in 2005.
“I think being the headliner at Trump Taj Mahal gave him the idea of mixed martial arts and of Tito Ortiz, because in 2005 I did the ‘Celebrity Apprentice,'” Ortiz said. “He gave me the opportunity to show what the hard work of being an apprentice is. He gave me the opportunity to be on his show asking questions of business, and I did that. I’m thankful for that. I was able to raise over $100,000 for my charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.”
What are your thoughts on Donald Trump attending UFC 244?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2019.