Just after Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination Tuesday, Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White took the stage to chronicle his relationship with the billionaire businessman.
"Nobody took us seriously, nobody," White said of his when he and his partners first purchased the UFC. "Except Donald Trump. Donald was the first guy that recognized the potential that we saw in the UFC and encouraged us to build our business."
White told the crowd gathered at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland that Trump often "got in the trenches" with him and his team and sent him encouraging notes along the way. He said Trump's interest in his business was not financial — but personal. The fight promoter said Trump "supports businesses of all sizes" and knows how to revitalize the American economy.
"You can really tell a person's true character when they're happy for somebody else's true success," he said, adding that Trumps "loyalty and commitment will translate into how he will run this country."
In his brief but boisterous speech, White said Americans "need somebody who believes in this country" to win the presidency in November.
"We need somebody who’s proud of this country, and who will fight for this country," he charged. "I know fighters! Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Trump is a fighter, and I know he will fight for this country."
As someone who hasn't spent his career in Washington, D.C., but in the private sector, Trump has frequently leaned on sports icons and celebrities to promote his rise to the Republican nomination for president. The candidate enjoys the support of famous Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight, legendary boxing promoter Don King and former world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
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