Fresh off his not-so-enthusiastic reception at the World Series Game 5 in Washington earlier this week, President Trump attended a UFC Championship in New York City on Saturday night only to once again be greeted by jeers and boos, according to reporters at the event.
Accompanied by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Mark Meadows, Rep. Peter King, and his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric, the president reportedly faced a crowd of angry protesters outside Madison Square Garden before getting largely the same response inside the venue, where fighters were due to duke it out for a new belt and the title of “BMF” or “Baddest Motherfucker.”
Video posted to Twitter by Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire captured the sound of shouting and booing as the president took his seat, though Lemire noted there were some cheers as well.
Trump’s appearance in the city came just two days after he announced that he’d be switching his permanent residency from New York City to Florida, suggesting the “political leaders” in the city were partly to blame and later going on to call the city “dirty & unsafe.” It also came less than a week after he was met with chants of “lock him up” at Game 5 of the World Series in Washington.
But it appears he may have been counting on a warmer welcome at the UFC event, to which he’d been invited by a loyal friend, UFC President Dana White. White, who spoke at Trump's request at the Republican National Convention, has credited matches at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City with helping to launch his company.
“I will never say anything negative about Donald Trump. He was there when other people weren’t,” White said in a 2018 interview with The Hill.
Jorge Masvidal, who was due to go up against Nate Diaz at the Saturday night event, had also offered warm words for Trump ahead of the match.
“Real recognize real,” he told the Associated Press a day before the fight. “No matter what your views are on Trump as a president, the guy’s a (Baddest Motherfucker), man. The money’s that he’s made, the obstacles that’s he conquered, he’s a (Baddest Motherfucker) in his own way.”
Donald Trump Jr. took to Twitter during the event to dispute reports of an unhappy crowd.
“Despite the bullshit from blue checkmark Twitter, when we walked into the arena it was overwhelmingly positive,” he tweeted, adding that White had described it as the “most electrifying entrance he seen in 25 years of doing this.”
A White House pool report from the fight noted that the president looked on as “the stark violence of the sport” revealed itself in the form of a fighter being kicked in the head and knocked unconscious. But, the report noted, the president “could be seen clapping in support” when the fighter was revived.