Trump Suggests Migrants Should Fight for Sport

Donald Trump outside a cage match.

Photo: Luke Hales/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves dehumanizing migrants for political gain. He also loves watching people beat the crap out of each other for money. Now he’s finally found a way to combine the two.

In a pair of speeches on Saturday, including one at a conference for Evangelical Christians, Trump said that he had told Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White that he should set up a “migrant league of fighters” in parallel to the UFC, and that there should be an annual fight between the champions of both leagues. Trump, who frequently attends UFC events and has had a long friendship with White, was not expressing admiration for the mixed martial arts abilities of migrants or because he loves underdogs; he told the story to support his unfounded claim that most undocumented migrants are violent and dangerous criminals or “animals” who are destroying the country.

Here’s the version of the story he told at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference in Washington on Saturday afternoon:

Did anyone ever hear of Dana White? I said, “Dana, I have an idea. Why don’t you set up a migrant league of fighters and have your regular league of fighters, and then you have the champion of your league — these are the greatest fighters in the world — fight the champion of the migrants.” I think the migrant guy might win, that’s how tough they are. He didn’t like that idea too much. But actually, it’s not the worst idea I’ve ever had. These are tough people, these people are tough, and they’re nasty, mean.

The story prompted laughter from some in the Evangelical audience:

Then at a rally Philadelphia on Saturday evening, Trump repeated the story, adding that he had told White the idea would “make a lot of money.”

White later told reporters Trump had made the suggestion as “a joke.”

Trump’s dark political motives aside, he’s probably not someone White should take money-making advice from. One of Trump’s many failed business ventures prior to running for president was the MMA company Affliction Entertainment, which tried to challenge UFC’s PPV dominance back in 2008. Michael Cohen was the COO. It ran out of money and folded after hosting only two events. On the other hand, Trump is now arguably the most famous convicted criminal who loves cage fighting in the world.

Joke or not, Trump adding his migrant fight club idea to his stump speech is yet another example of him advocating violence as a way to solve what he perceives to be America’s problems, and never more so than during his 2024 campaign.

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