UFC 290 is officially in the books, and while the fights and overall card itself were top notch, one of the more enduring talking points to emerge from the Las Vegas event was that of the presence of former President Donald Trump.
From the jump, all eyes were on the former president as he arrived at T-Mobile Arena like a UFC fighter, with raucous applause and fanfare.
Most of Trump’s celebrity interactions were with people outside the octagon, as the president was seated right by the fight pit.
Trump has long frequented UFC events, which is hardly a surprise given his long-documented affinity for combat sports (both the real and scripted varieties) dating back to Trump Plaza hosting any number of epic boxing fights, as well as Wrestlemania IV and V.
Well, turns out you can add middleweight Dricus Du Plessis to that list of pro-Trump Ultimate Fighters.
Du Plessis had himself a good night, beating Robert Whitaker in the second round via TKO:
Now, where that clip ends, a different viral clip begins.
After Du Plessis picked up that win, he actually hopped over the cage wall and respectfully bowed and shook Trump’s hand.
That obviously put Du Plessis on the radar of Trump’s base, and wouldn’t you know it? Trump has a new African friend.
Well, at least as African as Steve Nash and Elon Musk are.
MAGA fans discovered that Du Plessis is a South African fighter and seemed stunned — for both obvious reasons and more subtle ones.
Some comments expressed surprise, but the overall sentiment was that of pride and joy at Trump’s growing international star.
This was Trump, the former president, being shown decorum and respect from someone who really has no reason to.
But the viral handshake was all the more notable when juxtaposed with how the current president was largely viewed and received on Saturday, when he was spotted vacationing on a beach.
Whereas Biden could generously be described as tired-looking and tapped out from those beachside photos, Trump looked positively lively and spirited Saturday night.
What inspires you more: A man gently relaxing on the beach (nothing wrong with that, to be clear) or a man among the people, shaking hands and rubbing elbows with international mixed martial artists?
Remove those partisan-shaded goggles, and it’s a pretty obvious answer.