Former President Donald Trump received a massive pop and a standing ovation when he arrived at the T-Mobile center in Las Vegas for UFC 296 on Saturday.
Trump stopped to shake hands with supporters and repeatedly wave to the enthusiastic crowd as he made his way to his Octagon-side seats just before the start of the main card.
“And they are all rising inside T-Mobile arena to pay their respects to the former leader of these United States of America,” UFC play-by-play announcer Jon Anik said on the broadcast. “Donald Trump is a massive UFC fan, he’s been watching our fight nights at home, but he has been omnipresent at out live events this year.”
Trump has become a regular at UFC fights since he became the first sitting president to attend a UFC event in November 2019, when he sat Octagon-side for a highly anticipated fight between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal. He has since attended a number of fights since leaving office, most recently popping up for UFC 295 in New York City.
Flanked by Tucker Carlson and Kid Rock, the former president received a warm ovation in the deep blue city both when he entered the arena and when he was shown on the jumbotron. The reception presented a sharp contrast with the 2019 entrance, when then-President Trump received an even mix of boos and cheers.
Trump had promised to show up to Saturday’s pay-per-view in order to support Colby Covington, a longtime supporter who is headlining the card in a heated grudge match with current Welterweight champion Leon Edwards. The trip capped off yet another busy campaign day for the former president, who held a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Saturday morning before boarding a flight for Las Vegas.