Donald Trump appears to have a new favorite UFC fighter.
Welterweight rivals Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington have been vying for the affections of the former US president for several years.
However, it was recently dethroned former UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland that Trump shouted out at his most recent rally.
On Thursday, the 77-year-old continued his 2024 election campaign in Las Vegas where he delivered a 16-minute speech after a Republican Party meeting.
Trump first spoke about his love of golf before pointing out Strickland, who was sitting in the audience, and talking about his MMA abilities.
“If you like to fight, if you want to fight, you can fight this guy,” he said.
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“It’s available, but you won’t last long, you won’t do very well.
“Sean Strickland, he’s a mean guy. Look at those ears. You look at those ears and oh, I said, “I don’t want him.” Thank you very much, Sean, we appreciate it.
At one point, the unlikely duo reunited backstage.
Footage of Strickland and Trump participating in a mock staredown has since been shared on social media and, unsurprisingly, gone viral.
It shows the two men posing with their fists clenched in a fighting stance while an audience of people take photos of the bizarre incident, which sent those watching into hysterics.
Strickland repeatedly called Trump a “legend” when they split.
As the divisive political figure continues his bid to regain power, one of MMA’s most controversial fighters will soon embark on another title run.
After pulling off arguably the biggest upset in UFC history to dethrone Israel Adesanya last September, Strickland suffered a defeat in his first title defense at 185 pounds.
Dricus du Plessis walked away from his bloody five-round brawl at UFC 297 on January 20 with a controversial split decision victory to become South Africa’s first-ever UFC champion.
It’s not yet clear if Strickland will get an immediate rematch, but one thing is for sure, Trump will be cheering for him every time he returns to the Octagon.