President-elect meets with UFC owner
November 21, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump met with his former Hollywood agent, and current UFC owner Ari Emanuel on Sunday.
Emanuel met the President-elect at his New Jersey golf course. Trump touted Emmanuel as “the king of Hollywood.” The substance of the meeting was not revealed.
Despite being a longtime Democratic fund-raiser, Trump called Emanuel a “great friend.” Dana White spoke on behalf of Trump at the Republican National Convention and was seen at an GOP party on election night.
Perhaps the meeting included some talk about Emmanuel’s new venture as head of the UFC. He is one of the new faces of the organization since WME-IMG took over from the Fertitta brothers in July.
One of the relevant issues that the President-elect may deal with is the attempt to amend the existing Muhammad Ali Act to include combat sports. The UFC has lobbied vehemently against it. It has enlisted Farragut PR to monitor the Ali Act on behalf of the UFC.
The bill was introduced in late May by Oklahoma Republican Markwayne Mullin. In late September, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Workforce Protection as set forth by the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
With the new administration set to come in this January, the likelihood that the Muhammad Ali Expansion Act passes is low. Certainly, having President-elect Trump as an ally will help Emmanuel and the UFC. Moreover, one would think that a Republican dominated House and Senate would persuade Representative Mullin to shelve the bill or amend it to make it more friendly for promoters.