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Donald Trump attends UFC 296 to support controversial Colby Covington

The former US president has attended numerous UFC events in recent years, and he and Covington share a mutual support

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Sunday 17 December 2023 06:24 GMT
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Donald Trump was in attendance at UFC 296 on Saturday, sitting ringside at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to support Colby Covington.

Trump, 77, has attended numerous UFC events in recent years, and the former US president and Covington share a mutual support. On Wednesday (13 December), Covington carried out his media-day duties while sporting a jacket featuring Trump’s mugshot.

In Saturday’s main event, Covington challenged Britain’s Leon Edwards for the welterweight title, marking the American fighter’s third shot at the belt. Covington made his way over to Trump at ringside before entering the ring, briefly speaking to the former president. He then went on to lose a comfortable decision to Edwards.

The controversial Covington, 35, is a former interim champion but failed to dethrone Kamaru Usman in 2019 and 2021, losing via TKO in their first fight and on points in their rematch. Jamaican-born Edwards then knocked out Usman in stunning fashion in 2022, becoming Britain’s second UFC champion in the process. That result also saw Edwards, 32, avenge a decision loss to Usman from 2015.

In March of this year, Edwards outpointed the Nigerian-American in London to retain the welterweight title. As such, Edwards’s fight with Covington marked his second defence of the belt.

Trump pictured with Covington during the latter’s run as interim UFC welterweight champion

Trump last attended a UFC event in November, when he arrived at Madison Square Garden in New York City with UFC president Dana White, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and rockstar Kid Rock. After that event – UFC 295 – White reportedly told a sponsor to ‘go f*** yourself’, after they asked him to remove a social-media post featuring Trump.

White, 54, is a known supporter of Trump and has spoken at the 77-year-old’s election rallies in the past. Trump, who is currently part of a civil fraud trial involving his businesses, served as US president from 2017 until 2021 and is eyeing another electoral run in 2024.

Trump arrived to the sound of cheers at UFC 296, just as he did at UFC 295.

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