Trump says he suggested setting up a migrant fighting league to UFC’s Dana White

Donald Trump told a room of conservative Christians that he pitched a migrant fighting league to UFC president and CEO Dana White.

The former president made the remarks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition-organized “Road to Majority” policy conference at the Washington Hilton on Saturday (June 22).

Speaking as he campaigns for re-election to the White House in November’s presidential election in which he will face incumbent president Joe Biden, the all-but-official Republican nominee chided Christians for historically not turning up to vote in the numbers that might be expected.

Trump also laid out his evangelical credentials including his support of recent legislation to require Louisiana public schools to post the Ten Commandments in classrooms and his role in the overturning of Roe v Wade by the US Supreme Court by appointing conservative justices during his administration.

In his inimitable style though, the former president meandered his way through his a joke-filled version of his stump speech of right-wing talking points including bizarre anecdotes about sharks and tanks and fictional serial killer and cannibal Hannibal Lecter.

During a section on the migrant crisis at the southern border — remarking on the toughness of some of those who cross the border illegally — Trump told the crowd about his jaw-dropping idea for a new league in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“They so tough,” the Republican nominee said of the migrants. “Dana White, did anyone ever hear of Dana? He’s a legend, right? UFC, Ultimate Fighter, Ultimate Fighting. And he has he’s a fantastic man. I said Dana, I have an idea.

Dana White was said to be unimpressed with Trump’s suggestion (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Dana White was said to be unimpressed with Trump’s suggestion (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“Why don’t you set up a migrant league of fighters and have your regular league of fighters, and then you have the champion of your league — these are the greatest fighters in the world — fight the champion of the migrants.”

“I think that migrant guy might win. That’s how tough they are,” Trump continued. “He didn’t like that idea too much, but actually, not the worst idea I’ve ever had.”

The story was met with laughter and hoots of approval from the crowd at the religious policy conference.

However, on social media, there was condemnation of the comments, with Democrat strategist Adam Parkhomenko saying on X: “This is some really sick s*** and in and of itself should be disqualifying.”

It was also variously called “completely deranged” and “vile” with some finding it incredulous that it was said at a Christian values event.

The former president attended UFC 302 in New Jersey, sitting ringside with White, just two days after a Manhattan jury found Trump guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Trump, who turned 78 last week, is popular in UFC circles and has attended numerous events in recent years. On June 1 he entered the Prudential Center in Newark to the sound of cheers, shaking hands with comedian Theo Von and fans while walking to his seat.

Guided by White, a known supporter of Trump, the former president then shook hands with UFC commentators Joe Rogan and Jon Anik.

Fighter Kevin Holland exited the cage to talk to Trump after running his fight, and former middleweight champion Sean Strickland posed for a photo with him.

“President Trump, you’re the man. It’s a damn travesty what they’re doing to you,” Strickland said afterward, during his in-ring interview. “I’ll be donating to you.”