When the previous president arrived in Las Vegas for the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship match, he attracted a thunderous applause.
A July 10 video shared on social media shows Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump attending the MMA UFC 264 match, between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, at T-Mobile Arena.
The couple moves along the fighter tunnel and waves to the audience, which quickly cheers and applauds them. Many people in the packed arena repeatedly chant the letters “U-S-A.”
The former president and first lady were seated near the octagon, where the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft also watched the game according to the New York Post.
The crowd chants USA as Former President Donald Trump makes an appearance at UFC 264 in Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/SArqg6vv4N— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 11, 2021
This is just one of Trump’s few public appearances since stepping down from the White House in January.
The former president recently held a rally in Sarasota, Florida after a grand jury indicted the Trump Organization for alleged tax-related violations in Manhattan.
Trump and UFC President Dana White have a long-standing relationship according to Yahoo Sports.
White confirmed he spoke with the former president before the main event, and compared hosting Trump at T-Mobile Arena to “two friends, who are fight fans, watching a fight.”
At the 2019 UFC 244 event at Madison Square Garden, Trump’s image was not displayed on the wide screen.
At the time, White claimed inviting him in-person was enough to honor the then president. He did not say whether it was intended to avoid a negative reaction from the crowd.
“I just felt that we were going to walk in and whatever happens, happens,” White said according to USA Today. “This is America … [and] you believe what you want, if you want to boo you boo, [and] if you don’t you don’t.”
He claimed Americans should feel safe to “do whatever you want” within the law.
“You can choose whatever side you want to be on,” he said according to the publication. “I feel like these days, we live in a world where you cannot say, ‘I am a Trump guy,’ or ‘I am a Hillary guy,’ or whatever your deal is–this is America, you do what you want.”
White previously commended Trump on improving business conditions due to his willingness to organize events at a time when sport suffered a “stigma.”
At the 2016 Republican National Convention, White spoke on Trump’s behalf and expressed satisfaction with the very well-behaved audience.
“I was happy and proud that the crowd here in New York treated him with respect,” he said according to USA Today. “It just made the night so cool.”