Colby Covington isn’t the only top UFC welterweight to attend one of President Donald Trump’s campaign events.
First, Trump spoke at a “Latinos For Trump” event at Trump National Golf Club in Doral, Fla. Among those in attendance were Masvidal, his manager Abraham Kawa, and Masvidal’s father, Jorge Sr.
As soon as the president took a seat in front of the audience at his golf club, he looked for Masvidal in the crowd. Masvidal was the first topic of conversation Trump brought up.
“We have some real champions here,” Trump said. “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.”
Trump praised Masvidal’s “fastest” knockout, presumably his five-second knockout of Ben Askren at UFC 239 in July 2019. While the President was inaccurate when relaying some of the details, “Young Superstar” Askren self-deprecatingly embraced the humor of the situation on Twitter later in the day.
“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.”
Well nothing to do but laugh at that https://t.co/eDnCiuMP6o
— “Young Superstar” (@Benaskren) September 25, 2020
A few minutes later, after a few more shoutouts, Trump again brought up Masvidal, who is of Cuban-American ancestry. This time, he used the UFC’s only “BMF” champion in promotional history as an example of 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?”
After the event, Masvidal, who has shown appreciation to the president on numerous occasions, reacted to the praise.
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) September 25, 2020
Later in the day Friday, President Trump spoke at Cobb Galleria in Atlanta. The event, which revolved around the topic of “black economic empowerment,” lasted approximately 55 minutes. Usman and manager Ali Abdelaziz each got their own shoutouts from the president.
“Does anybody like UFC?” Trump asked the crowd, while standing at the podium. “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.”
— DH (@Harricane42) September 25, 2020