Colby Covington isn’t the only Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight to have the support of President Donald Trump.
Trump, who is preparing for November’s presidential election, held a “Latinos For Trump” event earlier this week from Trump National Golf Club in Doral, Florida. In attendance was none other than UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal, along with his manager, Abraham Kawa, and father, Jorge Sr.
As soon as Trump took the stage and started to speak to his supporters he almost immediately pinpointed “Gamebred” in the crowd and called him out.
Remember, Trump has seen Masvidal’s fighting abilities firsthand after attending UFC 244 late last year. That’s where Masvidal defeated Nate Diaz to claim the inaugural “BMF” title.
“We have some real champions here,” Trump said (transcription via MMA Junkie). “And one I heard, in particular, I saw a very fast knockout not so long ago. Where’s Jorge? Where is Jorge? I don’t want to fight with him. Where he is? Where is he? Stand up, Jorge. Stand up. There he is.”
After getting Masvidal’s attention Trump started to discuss the fighter’s historic knockout finish over Ben Askren back at UFC 239. The President may have been misinformed about Askren’s position within UFC at the time of the finish, but the mere mention of it was pretty special.
“That’s the fastest knockout,” Trump said. “I watched his (fight when) he was fighting this young superstar who was going to great, right? They were telling me how great he is. I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings but he was supposed to be the future of the UFC but he had to go through this guy right here but it didn’t go well (for him). Did it, Jorge? What a champion you are. That was the fastest (knockout). What was it? About a second? Two seconds? You ran across the ring and the guy was gone and that was the end of it. Did they have to pay you for that evening or not? Because one second… that’s a good return. Great to have you, man. I’m a big fan. Thanks.”
Trump also spoke about Masvidal’s unexpected rise to stardom and how “Gamebred’s” career resurrection is a perfect example of capturing the “American dream.”
“(Hispanic Americans) champion our shared values and embody the American dream,” Trump said. “That’s what it is. This guy was a fighter on the street. He used to beat up people. You know, your route is much different. Most of these people… I know your story… Actually, for what you do it’s sort of cool. For other people, it wouldn’t be so good. But he used to beat up people and somebody said, ‘Come on (into) the gym. Let’s see if you’re so good.’ Then he goes into the gym and guys who are fighting for a long time, he beat the hell out of him. They said, ‘I think he’s going to be a good fighter,’ and they were right. But these are all different stories, right?”
Masvidal, who has expressed his support for Trump in the past, took to social media after the event to share his gratitude towards the President.
“Can’t believe the president knows who I am. Humbled. Leader of the free world knows my name,” wrote Masvidal via Twitter.
After his stopover in Florida, Trump traveled to Atlanta for an event at Cobb Galleria, which focused around “black economic empowerment.” That’s where the President crossed paths with reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, as well as Usman’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz.
“Does anybody like UFC?” Trump asked the Atlanta crowd. “I’ll tell you what. … Usman, I know who he is. He’s tough. That’s who he is. Kamaru Usman. Where is our champ? Come on, champ. Get up. Man, oh man, oh man. What a fighter you are. I don’t want to mess with him. I may weigh a couple of pounds more. Do you think I could take you in a fight, champ? I don’t think so. He goes, ‘No.’ I think you’re right, champ.
“I watched the fight you had a couple of months ago. (You’re) an unbelievable talent – and (smart), too. It’s a combination. The muscles are important but you’ve got to have the other. He actually looks really good in a suit but he’s one of the few people who look better without a suit. There aren’t too many of us. There aren’t too many of us that can say that. Right, men? The men in this audience, eh? I just want to thank you, champion. Good luck. I’ll be watching. You have a big fight coming up. I’ll be watching and it’s a great group of people. A great group of champions. Thank you very much. Thank you.”
Any thoughts, fight fans? What do you make of Trump’s recent praise for Masvidal and Usman?