Combat sports are comfortable terrain for Trump, who is a connoisseur of fights. He is friends with UFC President Dana White and the famed boxing promoter Don King, and for years hosted boxing showdowns at his Atlantic City, N.J., casino, including the 1991 “Battle of the Ages” between George Foreman and Evander Holyfield. In 2021, he and Donald Trump Jr. served as commentators for a fight between Holyfield and Vitor Belfort.
He has also been heavily associated with wrestling, having also hosted WWE events at his Atlantic City properties and, among other things, doing battle with fellow billionaire Vince McMahon at WrestleMania in 2007.
Trump’s appearance on such nontraditional platforms illustrates a comfort he has around celebrity and sports culture that not every politician possesses, his advisers argue.
“President Trump’s star power and unmatched energy makes him a force of nature that resonates with people from all backgrounds,” said Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung, himself a former UFC official.
It also has given him entree to a young, heavily male segment of the electorate who are getting news from prominent personalities such as podcast host Joe Rogan — whom Trump was seen chatting with at last’s weekend’s fight — in addition to watching those fights. According to an analysis posted last month on the sports betting website BetMGM, the sport is most popular among those 25 to 35 years old. Ninety percent of its viewers are male. [Continue reading…]