When Trump arrived Saturday night at an Ultimate Fighting Championship match in New York City, the crowd reaction was a bit more hospitable than the one he received at World Series Game 5 last Sunday in Washington.
Tara LaRosa, a mixed martial arts fighter from New Jersey, tweeted video of a section of the Madison Square Garden crowd where the response seemed mostly favorably for the president.
President Trump is more immensely popular with more people across this land, than any other President in my lifetime –
and I was born during the Eisenhower Administration.
America Loves President Trump.
— 🇺🇸AnthemRespect🇺🇸 (@AnthemRespect) November 3, 2019
Numerous videos shared on social media showed the crowd loudly booing when President Donald Trump arrived for UFC 244 bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night.
Trump hugged Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran and posed for a picture before sitting with his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to watch the showdown between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz.
— Mitch Horowitz (@MitchHorowitz) November 3, 2019
But as videos of the booing circulated on Twitter, but Donald Trump Jr. disputed.
“Despite the bulls— from blue checkmark Twitter,” Trump Jr. wrote, “when we walked into the arena it was overwhelmingly positive. @danawhite said it was the most electrifying entrance he seen [sic] in 25 years of doing this.” He was refering to Dana White, the UFC president.
Despite the bullshit from blue checkmark Twitter, when we walked into the arena it was overwhelmingly positive. @danawhite said it was the most electrifying entrance he seen in 25 years of doing this. @ufc https://t.co/62dAdDimGD
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 3, 2019
President Trump was in midtown Manhattan for UFC 244, with the main event featuring two American mixed-martial arts fighters, No. 3-ranked Jorge Masvidal, with a record of 34-13, against No. 7-ranked Nate Diaz, at 21-11.
Trump is a longtime fan of MMA and received support from White at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
“State athletic commissions didn’t support us, arenas around the world refused to host our events,” White said at the time. “Nobody took us seriously. Nobody … except Donald Trump. Donald was the first guy that recognized the potential that we saw in the UFC and encouraged us to build our business.”
Trump’s outing came amid an impeachment inquiry he is facing about allegations he pressured Ukraine’s President Voldymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
Nevertheless, Trump stayed for the entire four-hour show, which saw Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wrap the BMF title belt around Masvidal’s waist after he defeated Diaz.
Masvidal had dominated the first three rounds but the fight was stopped before the fourth round after a doctor deemed the cuts above Diaz’s eye too severe for him to continue.
Later in the show, Trump stood up with the rest of the crowd when Kevin Lee knocked out Gregor Gillespie. He also received a shout out from inside the cage from American Derrick Lewis. “I know everything a’int going so good in the White House. You gotta turn that… around in 2020,” Lewis, who won his heavyweight fight, said, according to the Associated Press.
Trump’s return to New York came during the same week he revealed he was changing his primary residency to Florida, claiming he’s received poor treatment from New York’s politicians and has tired of paying “millions of dollars” in taxes to the city and state.
Outside the Garden, protesters carried signs with messages including, “Headlock Him Up!,” and “Trump/Pence out now!”
Last Sunday in Washington, the boos were clearly louder than cheers for the president at Nationals Park for Game 5 between the visiting Houston Astros and hometown Washington Nationals.
But after the Nationals won the World Series in Houston three nights later, Trump tweeted a message of congratulations to the champs, suggesting he harbored no hard feelings after the harsh welcome.