President Trump praised the UFC for their return to operations in a pre-taped video message that opened the UFC 249 broadcast on ESPN Saturday evening. UFC 249, held in a fan-free arena in Jacksonville, served as the first major sporting event in the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic forced stay-at-home orders for most of the country.
Said Trump in the video message: “I’m standing at a very important spot, right outside the oval office and you’re looking at the White House behind me. And it’s an honor to be here and it’s an honor to salute you. And I want to congratulate Dana White and the UFC. They’re going to have a big match, we love it, we think it’s important. Get the sports leagues back, let’s play. You do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do. But we need sports. We want our sports back. And congratulations to Dana White, UFC.”