By Zach Arnold | July 13, 2016
Last February, we discussed America’s 2016 yuge nightmare between Hillary Clinton & Donald Trump. Part of that equation would be the proxy war in Nevada involving the casino magnates on Trump’s side versus the labor unions who have been a thorn in the side of Station Casinos and UFC.
Dana White would publicly back Donald Trump. It was a no-brainer. The reason was simple. Trump is one of the biggest fight fans in the world and has been for decades. UFC does not want the Ali Act amended to cover Mixed Martial Arts because it would change how they do business and give fighters a private right to sue in Federal court to break out of an overly adhesive contract.
The proxy war would be a big risk for alienating UFC fans given that the majority of UFC’s business demographic are males 18-to-34 years old who are very active online. The online audience is overwhelmingly liberal on social media. It was also a heavy pro-Bernie Sanders demographic, which is not exactly the most enthralled with Hillary Clinton.
This is the excuse that will allow Dana White to support Donald Trump publicly and speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Trump and White yugely respect each other. They are two peas in a pod. And Dana White was an integral part in selling the UFC for $4 billion USD. Trump loves an American billionaire. He needs all the support he can get from younger voters. He currently is trailing significantly in this demographic.
Dana will scratch Trump’s back and Trump will, theoretically, scratch Dana’s back if he gets into office and has the Ali Act amendment on his desk to sign or veto.
Surely this would be a hugely risky public relations and political move to make… until you consider that the new owner of UFC is Ari Emanuel, the brother of senior Clintonista Rahm Emanuel (mayor of Chicago). The Emanuels carry great political sway in the world of the Clintons and that sway could very well kill an amendment to the Ali Act either in Congress or on the desk of a President Clinton. Ari Emanuel didn’t just spend $4 billion dollars in buying the UFC only to watch the financial business model rapidly change overnight with fighters obtaining basic legal rights.
Forget the putrid lobbying efforts currently underway on Capitol Hill to try to dissuade conservatives from voting on amending the Ali Act. The UFC is playing both ends against the middle with both Trump & Hillary. This strategy works if they can get the Ali Act amendment stalled through the lame duck session.