According to this /r/mma post from June, the UFC's "Combatant in Chief" mini-documentary Re: Donald Trump is not the only one that the UFC's pulled from distribution. The very next ep, about Dana White & the Fertitta brothers' moves in 2001, is also gone. https://t.co/PtmwSKKJAH pic.twitter.com/5bVFUucsmr
— David Bixenspan (@davidbix) January 9, 2021
However, there has never been a reconciliation by White for Trump’s white rage agitation, support for fringe conspiracy theories like QAnon, and more recently for inciting insurrection.
With White still at the helm of the Endeavor (formerly William Morris Agency) owned UFC, has his support for Trump bled into the premier MMA’s brand.
From breakout “stars” Jorge Masvidal, Derrick Lewis, and Colby Covington to journeyman like Nik Lentz, the UFC graciously provided a Trump administration platform.
Fighters like Henry Cejudo and Justin Gaethje have been guests at Trump rallies in the past.
It was a platform that the fans never asked for but revealed the ugly underbelly of the world’s so-called premier MMA organization.
Recently, smaller MMA promotion, Legacy Fighting Alliance’s color commentator and former fighter Pat Miletich was fired from his broadcast duties for attending the “Stop The Steal” insurrection. Miletich is the founder of Bettendorf, Iowa based Miletich Fighting Systems and is a UFC Hall of Famer.
“First and foremost, the LFA supports the participation of the constitutional right to peaceful protest,” Soares said via statement to MMAJunkie.
“During preparations for the 2021 debut broadcast, it was brought to the LFA’s attention that photos of questionable nature surfaced on various social media outlets involving fight analyst Pat Miletich. While the LFA continues to investigate the situation, the decision was made to remove Mr. Miletich from broadcast duties for this Friday’s LFA 97 event.”
Miletich has become a prominent figure in right-wing libertarian circles in recent years and has been vocal in his support of Donald Trump.
“I just got a call from the folks at the LFA, ” Miletich said Tuesday in a since-deleted Instagram post, “and they informed me that they were getting a lot of pressure because I was at the Capitol, and I want you guys to know that the people who I walked with at the Capitol, none of them that I know of were involved in any of the violence,” Miletich said in his now-deleted Instagram video.
“The LFA was getting a lot of pressure, and they felt they needed to distance themselves from me,” he later added. “I understand their position.”
Probably because of Dana White endorsing Donald Trump, Its crazy to think like 5 years ago we knew literally no political affiliations in MMA besides Donald Cerrone.
— Mason 🍽😈 (@RollysonMason) January 10, 2021
UFC’s chief competitor, Bellator MMA, has steered clear of any political leanings. Not only have they not entertained any post-fight Trump proclamations from it’s fighters, but president Scott Coker has never endorsed any candidate for the U.S. Presidency.
Th UFC’s new ownership has attempted to steer clear of Dana White’s political alignments. Unfortunately, Dana White to the UFC is what Sean “Love” Combs is to Bad Boy Entertainment.
The two are inextricable and now in the aftermath of the insurrection, the MMA fan has to rationalize supporting a brand that leaves no room for the failures of it’s leader.
A leader who support the first U.S. President to possibly be impeached twice.
The same can be said for both ESPN and newest UFC broadcast partner ABC.
Although the company thus far has navigate its brand away from Dana White’s politics successfully in corporate America, the real boss, the fans, have to decide of they will support a platform primed as a Trump bully pulpit.