Earlier this week, we published an article examining the robust selection of Republican National Convention prop bets offered by the top political betting sites.
Many have now been resolved following two nights of convention broadcasts, but the oddsmakers at BetOnline keep them coming!
RNC Picks So Far:
Speaking of my previous RNC betting article: Nick Sandmann and McCloskey family, you both really let me down!
I picked “No” at –250 odds on Sandmann mentioning Nathan Philips by name, arguing, “they’ll want him to appear classy and undeserving of the negative attention he received. Coming out and talking about Philips could come across as gloating or seeking retribution.”
Wrong! The kid went all in. I did get one thing about Nick’s convention speech, though predicting online liberals would “take the bait and start attacking him all over again for his speech.”
As for the McCloskey’s, they zigged when I thought they’d zag at every turn. No pink shirt; no guns; no “all lives matter;” the only help they gave me is a mention of the Second Amendment, which was a –400 favorite anyway.
I’ve been watching UFC and following Dana White since 2002; hopefully, it’ll be easier to predict his actions than these commonfolk.
The latest slate of RNC betting lines is about the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Dana White, who is speaking on Thursday, the last night of the convention.
White is included in a final night lineup that features:
- Housing Secretary Ben Carson
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
- House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy
- Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton
- Ivanka Trump
- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
- Franklin Graham (son of the late Reverand Billy Graham)
- Ann Dorn (late husband, a retired police officer was killed during riots in St. Louis)
- Carl and Marsha Mueller (parents of a humanitarian worker, Kayla Hueller, murdered by Islamic State terrorists)
So, it’s on Dana to bring the entertainment and levity to the evening – because that’s one heavy block of speakers! Things could get depressing.
Fortunately, we have a little data that may help us predict how the architect of MMA’s ascension into mainstream sports will approach this responsibility.
Here’s Dana White’s four-minute speech from the 2016 Republican National Convention:
Before we dive into the content of the address: I love Dana’s presentation style. He’s a fight promoter to his bones.
Re-watching the last half of that clip, his yelling reminded me a bit of Kimberly Guilfoyle’s hilariously loud night-one speech. Her gladiatorial approach to speaking at the Republican Convention (even without a crowd present) has already birthed the “Guilfoyle Challenge” online!
— Deon🌹 (@DBF_NYC) August 25, 2020
I’m hoping Dana will give Don Jr.’s wife a run for her money on the intensity scale.
Over the decades of my MMA fandom, White has done numerous press conferences at which he was either furious or excitedly hyping an event. The more pumped he gets, the redder his face and head become, earning him the nickname “the tomato” on some mixed martial arts forums. It’s a beautiful shade of crimson.
On a night consisting of presentations by Mitch McConnell, Rudy Giuliani, and grieving family members, it’d be nice to have a classic “tomato” sighting mixed in there.
Dana White’s Republican National Convention Speech Betting Lines
D.White mention President Trump attended UFC Event?
- Markets Odds
White mentioned in the 2016 convention speech that Trump’s property in Atlantic City hosted the first UFC events, back when they were struggling to legitimize the sport in the public’s eyes. He goes on to say that Donald Trump even showed up to watch.
“In 2001, my partners and I bought the UFC, and it was basically considered a blood sport,” White told the RNC crowd in 2016. “State athletic commissions didn’t support us. Arenas around the world refused to host our events. Nobody took us seriously. Nobody. Except Donald Trump.”
“He hosted our first two events at [the Trump Taj Mahal], he dealt with us personally, he got in the trenches with us, and he made a deal that worked for everyone. On top of that, he showed up for the fight on Saturday night and sat in the front row,” the face of the UFC continued.
President Trump recounted the same story in a recent stump speech at a rally in Colorado.
If the footage of these two events tells us anything about the content of Dana’s speech on Thursday, it’s that he’s at the convention to endorse Trump’s character. White always talks about what a generous and considerate friend he is.
At the same time, would he tell the same anecdote two conventions in a row? I don’t think so. This year’s speech will focus more on Donald Trump’s loyalty, how he’s been good for the UFC’s business, and things along those lines.
I have to go with “No” at –250 odds on the UFC president retelling the story about Trump attending an event.
D.White says “Fight(s)”, “Fighter(s)”, “Fighting”
- Markets Odds
- Under 8.5 Times-200
- Over 8.5 Times+150
At first glance, 8.5 mentions of the word “fight” in its different variations looked absurdly high. So, I watched the 2016 speech once again to count the number of times it was said. Nine!!!
Beyond using it in the name “Ultimate Fighting Championship” and describing how Trump “showed up to the fights,” White told audiences that he’s “been around fighters,” that “Trump is a fighter,” and that as President he’d “fight for this country.”
Revisiting the shorter rally speech from Colorado in February, Dana only said the word once, to call Trump a “fighter” again.
I have to believe this totals bet is going under. The RNC is focusing on shorter speeches, and there’s no crowd. It would sound insane and redundant if Dana White used his time to repeat iterations of the word “fight” over and over again. It worked in 2016 because the crowd was enthusiastic, and repetition plays differently before an audience.
He’s a fight promoter, so he’ll have to use the word a handful of times, but I don’t think White will cover the over with nine or more utterances of the term.
I’m picking “under 8.5 times” at –200.
Dana White to Mention a Current UFC Fighter’s Name
- Markets Odds
Ooohhhhh, I like this one!
Based on the odds, betting on the UFC president to mention a current fighter’s name only makes sense if you think the answer is “yes.”
At +550, I’m willing to take a flyer on Dana’s namedropping one or more of his athletes for a couple of reasons.
- This year’s Republican National Convention is utilizing different types of presentations due to the virtual format. It’s not all speeches from behind a podium. Often, the speakers are standing in a group or sitting on couches around President Trump. If they want to try something different than a repeat of the 2016 speech, having Dana sitting and chatting with his friend Donald makes sense. Under those circumstances, the topic of conversation may briefly touch on UFC fighters.
- It would make sense for them to discuss current fighters because the UFC has multiple outspoken Trump supporters on the roster.
Colby Covington, the former interim welterweight champion, has routinely adorned a MAGA hat before and after his bouts. He even brought his welterweight belt to meet Donald Trump in the Oval Office, making him the first UFC champ to meet a sitting President at the White House.
When Covington defended his interim title against Robbie Lawler to headline UFC on ESPN 5, both of the President’s sons were in attendance. “I was truly inspired when the first family came in the building and came to see me backstage,” Covington said. “Let’s give it up for the Trumps. They’re keeping America great.”
Jorge Masvidal is another UFC athlete whose popularity has exploded in recent years. He, too, has expressed admiration for the President publicly. “No matter what your views on Trump as a president, the guy’s a bad motherf—–, man — the money that he’s made, the obstacles that he’s conquered. He’s a bad motherf—– in his own way, you know, no matter what your political views are,” Masvidal was recorded telling a reporter.
After the Cuban Miami native (historically a conservative voting bloc) defeated Nate Diaz in their much anticipated “BMF Title” fight, Donald Trump retweeted the interview mentioned above along with the message: “Great fight Champ!”
So, if Dana White’s RNC segment is more of a conversation than a traditional speech, there’s a decent chance that Trump’s popularity among some big-name fighters will be addressed. It’s probable enough to be worth putting a few bucks on “Yes” at +550!
Dana White’s Primary Shirt Color
This is one of those prop bets where you’re just guessing and hoping to get lucky.
Dana wore a blue shirt during his 2016 RNC appearance and a white one at February’s rally in Colorado – both standard dress shirt colors.
“Red” is out of the question.
For one, it’s a political convention, not a vampire bar in the movie Blade or HBO’s True Blood. Two, it would clash with that big, red, head of his and look ridiculous.
I feel comfortable eliminating “black” as well.
People will wear black dress shirts under a black suit sometimes – especially people like Dana, who never wears a tie – but that would be out of place at the RNC. It’s a better look for UFC events and press conferences.
Beyond throwing out those two colors, this bet is anyone’s guess. I’d probably go with “white” because it looks the most formal.
Total times Dana White says “Trump”
- Markets Odds
- Over 5.5 Times-140
- Under 5.5 Times+100
How many times are you guys going to make me re-watch the same two old video clips to count specific words?!? I can almost recite Dana White’s entire 2016 speech at this point!
Although, I probably could have just found a full transcript and made things easier. But I digress…
Evidently, the bets dealing with the number of times Dana will repeat a specific word or phrase are based on his 2016 speech. Because the totals line of 5.5 “Trump’s” is just under the six times he said the President’s last name four years ago.
Considering White’s lack of interest in politics, besides supporting his friend, we can assume his speech will be a testament to Trump’s character. He doesn’t have another issue or agenda that he’s at the convention to discuss. Dana has talked about Donald being a kind and loyal friend in each public appearance on the incumbent’s behalf.
That increases the probability “Trump” is mentioned more often. Of course, this also depends on the style of the UFC president’s RNC segment. He’s more likely to repeat the President’s last name six or more times throughout a normal speech than during a more relaxed, conversational format.
This one feels like a coin toss. For that reason, I’m taking the better payout – which is “under 5.5 times saying ‘Trump’” at +100.
Total Times Dana White says “UFC”
- Markets Odds
- Under 3.5 Times-170
- Over 3.5 Times+130
This is another wager that will mostly depend on how similar this year’s speech will be to 2016’s. Dana White will mention the UFC to introduce himself to viewers, but how much will he discuss himself and his business beyond that?
I doubt he’d tell the same story about launching the fight promotion in 2001 and getting help from Trump on finding a venue.
Without repeating that anecdote, how else would the UFC come up? At the Colorado rally, Trump told the crowd about the promotion being sold to WME-IMG for $4 billion. Dana has discussed the President calling him after big announcements over the years; maybe he’ll tell that one?
As I mentioned previously, if White and the President are doing one of the more conversational interview style segments, the topic could turn to UFC fighters and their relationships with Trump. That would be helpful for the “over.”
Still, I don’t see Dana spending a ton of time on the UFC this time around. I think he’ll use his limited speaking time to sell the public on Donald Trump’s character; the side of him “that you don’t hear on TV, you don’t hear from other people,” as White told the crowd in Colorado.
I’m hesitantly picking “under 3.5 times Dana White will say ‘UFC’” at –170 odds.
What will Dana White say First?
- Markets Odds
- Ultimate Fighting Championship-250
This betting line reminds me of those fun Super Bowl props. Will Dana White refer to the full name of his company or the more widely used abbreviation first? In 2016, he introduced himself as the president of the “Ultimate Fighting Championship.”
I would think that’s marketing 101 – always get the whole title out there to start. Otherwise, there may be some viewers who don’t know what the “UFC” is. Although, I’m not sure the name is that much more helpful to someone unacquainted with mixed martial arts. Fighting can take on lots of different forms.
“Ultimate Fighting” almost conjures up images of an outlaw “no rules” kind of thing – as the UFC was originally intended to be, before Dana White and the Fertitta brothers bought it.
Still, I see “UFC” winning out this time. I’m picturing Dana coming out to speak, introducing himself, and saying he’s “president of the UFC,” then immediately explaining, “the Ultimate Fighting Championships.” Almost like a slip-up.
I’m trusting my weird premonition on this one and taking “’UFC’ to be said first” at +170.
Will Dana White say “Make America great again”?
- Markets Odds
Now, this one is tricky.
On the one hand, Dana White has been an open supporter of Donald Trump’s political career. He has no qualms about speaking at campaigns and rallies on the President’s behalf.
At the same time, Dana always makes it a point to explain that he’s not political.
When he talks about Trump, he primarily focuses on his personal interactions with the President as a person. Other than a few lines during the 2016 RNC speech about what Donald would do for the economy, White has mostly kept his comments limited to their relationship and his friend’s considerate gestures and character.
I’m not sure he’d go so far as to say, “make America great again.”
He’s never worn the hat or been a vocal Trump supporter like Colby Covington. He’s careful to talk about the man he knows, detached from the political stuff.
Dana has an entire roster of fighters to manage – many of whom weren’t thrilled with Covington when he was in full MAGA mode. The UFC employs – or “independent contracts” — a diverse stable of athletes from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. I don’t think he’d want to push his support for Trump too far.
I know it seems crazy when White is already speaking at the Republican National Convention, but relaying stories of a personal friendship and going full “MAGA” seem like two different things. Or at least different levels of support.
Dana saying “make America great again” isn’t entirely beyond the realm of possibility if you want to bet the upset pick at +300 – but I’m not predicting it will happen.