UFC To Release Donald Trump Documentary “Combatant In Chief” As Part Of ’25 Years In Short’
If things haven’t gotten weird enough for you yet, I have a feeling that they will. After once fighting ESPN, saying, ” They’re dirty, they lie, and they never give you all the facts,” UFC president Dana White appears to have caved. He signed a $1.5 billion dollar deal with the company and decided that his company need its own version of the “30 for 30” series.
The most recent entry to 25 Years in Short is a bizarre one. Combatant in Chief begins with some clips of Donald Trump in the 1980s and 1990s. He strolls through his casinos and gazes out the window of a helicopter painted with the word “TRUMP.” Then, White narrates: “Donald Trump is a visionary. This guy’s a fighter, an entrepreneur … he’s a guy you don’t want to bet against.”
The 14-minute film is a mostly self-serving piece. It’s made for fans who scream about keeping politics out of sports and then watch this video or cheer for thousand-dollar military flyovers. It’s meant for the type of fan who calls Colin Kaepernick disrespectful or things we won’t print, the type who likes to call billionaires “mister.”
The official explanation for the film is that Trump is one of the 25 most important people to the UFC. But his involvement has been little but a footnote to the sport. Yes, he had the company run three cards at his Taj Mahal casino during their most troubled period. But the whole narrative seems to be manufactured. Little attention is given to the first of the three matches. It’s the last two events, conveniently the first after Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta bought the company and White was installed as president, that get the attention of the film.
The real reason for the film is that White and Trump are similar. They’re men’s men. They want to be cool, they want to be important, and they want you to know.
There are also numerous lies throughout the film. Not only does it portray White as bringing UFC out of a barbarian era and into safety and regulations, but it also paints Trump as the savior of Atlantic City. If you’re knowledgeable about either of the two, you’ll know those are half-truths at best.
But if you’re watching one of the 25 UFC documentaries I doubt you’ll really care. There’s flags, chants, and blood. That’s good enough for the UFC. Dana White seriously called UFC “the safest sport in the world.” There’s no way that that’s true. And neither is this video. It’s his demented clip, some strange view of history.
There’s little this clip does to mention the countless others who worked that game of American lobbyists to get the sport sanctioned. Maybe the role of this film is to gain a favor with Trump. The Muhammad Ali Expansion Act is slated to end up on his desk. That bill would require an independent sanctioning body to control the UFC’s title and ranking systems. It would also prevent promoters from acting as managers. Maybe this film is to make sure a veto happens.
UFC itself seems to be a walking contradiction. It has elevated female stars to a level rarely seen in pro sports. But White and Trump seem to do that not out of moral obligation, but because it’s more profitable. The film does little to fight the belief that UFC does anything but promote an ill-sounding set of ideals.