Just like any Conor McGregor-headlined event, Saturday’s UFC 264 was packed with heavyweight celebrities.
From the live broadcast alone, we saw the likes of Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Dave Chappelle, Jared Leto, and Megan Fox. And that’s not even half of the entire list of actors, musicians, sports stars, and business moguls in attendance.
The one prominent name we didn’t see on live TV was Donald Trump. The former president did receive a warm welcome from a portion of the crowd, most notably from this guy.
Mel Gibson SALUTES President Donald Trump At UFC 264… pic.twitter.com/djnrvGdr4l— Cynthia Ford (@CynthiaFord6764) July 12, 2021
According to UFC president Dana White, Trump’s exclusion from the broadcast was a misstep by the production team. As he explained to TMZ Sports…
What happened was, we were getting ready to show him right between the co-main and main events. And I think you remember that we showed OBJ? We showed OBJ, then it was supposed to go to David Spade, 2 Chainz, and then the President.
And we had some kind of a glitch in the truck. And then the Conor fight ended up ending in the (first) round. So we never got the chance.
Let me tell you what, massive f—k up by my production team, but it’s live TV, and these things happen.
White, who’s been longtime friends with Trump, stated that the production team should’ve known better. Now, the rest of the world’s been deprived of the chance to see the former President make his walk during a live UFC event.
I don’t even need to tell them, it’s just the whole part of the deal when we were doing it that night. And what sucks too, is if you guys could’ve saw when he walked into the arena. I experienced it in New York, and then I experienced it in Vegas, there’s nothing like it.
The entire arena gets up on their feet. The whole place stands up. Everybody’s got their phones. It’s one of the craziest that you will ever witness if you’re at a live fight and the President walks in.
There could also be a potential backlash, given the political inclinations of the company’s bigger bosses. For that, White had this to say.
Nobody tells me how to run that show. And I would never do that.
Politics aside, when a former president shows up, whether it was Obama, whether it was Trump, whether it was Jimmy Carter, I don’t care who shows up. We would respect former presidents of the United States.
Regardless of how the headliner ended, UFC 264 was still a huge success. According to reports, the event drew 1.8 million PPV buys, the second highest-selling fight card after UFC 229’s 2.4 million buys.