Latino UFC Fighters Support Trump, Denouncing Seemingly Obligatory Latino Vote for Democrats

By Josué Monroy 

In a pro-Trump YouTube ad that was blasted across the platform in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal is featured giving a fiery speech to a campaign rally crowd.

“The Democrats just think that they’re entitled to the Latino vote. They think that we just have to hand it over to them,” Masvidal proclaimed, wearing a gold-trimmed Adidas tracksuit.

“That’s right. We sure as hell don’t,” he follows up, after a roar of applause.

The speech was given at one of the stops of the “Fighters Against Socialism” tour across Florida in late October that featured Donald Trump Jr., Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and other MMA fighters. 

The tour was part of a concerted effort by the Trump campaign to reel in Florida Latino voters, a population that swings Republican particularly among Cuban-Americans. Masvidal, 35, a UFC champion and native of Miami, was born to a Cuban father and Peruvian mother.

“We’re not gonna buy the same ‘woof tickets’ and false promises that destroyed great countries like Venezuela and Cuba. It’s not gonna happen,” Masvidal continued in the ad, driving home a sticking point with his audience.

Historically, Cuban-Americans lean conservative and tend to vote Republican, as many of them have a fraught relationship with any vestige of left-wing politics. In particular, they bristle at the mention of socialism, the proverbial boogeyman and trigger for many of the older generation that lived through the rise of the communist Castro regime during the 1960s. 

Florida also boasts a large Venezuelan population, with many of them having left their homeland in the wake of Hugo Chavez’s ascension during the 1990s and his subsequent implementation of a socialist “Bolivarian Revolution.”

In the case of Democrats, the progressive wing of the party has been spearheaded by proclaimed democratic socialists like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) and her high profile has made her a frequent target of right-wing media. Although the tenets of democratic socialism can be distilled into a push for a more social democracy, not a communist coup, the perceived association has made a large subset of Latinos flee into the open arms of the Republican Party.

On the other side of the country, UFC legend Tito Ortiz has been throwing his support behind Donald Trump for years. Known as the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy,” Ortiz, 45, grew up in Southern California’s heavily conservative Orange County, born to a father of Mexican descent and a mother of French and Portuguese ancestry. Orange County was the cradle of the modern conservative movement and has been a stronghold for Trump in reliably democratic California. Ortiz has encouraged California’s conservative Latinos to make their voices heard, endorsing the Latinos for Trump campaign.

“There are so many Latinos that support Trump, but are afraid to come out and say it,” stated Ortiz in a 2019 interview with Fox Business.

Ortiz has taken his political inclinations further, winning a seat on the Huntington Beach City Council this past election with 14 percent of the vote after running as a Trump-supporting Republican. He took cues from the Trump campaign by running on a “Make Huntington Beach Safe Again” slogan, a reference to President Trump’s own “Make America Great Again.”

In the aftermath of the presidential election, Ortiz has supported Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voting irregularities and potential fraud. The day after the election, Ortiz began an online petition to do a “fair recount” of all presidential ballots cast in California.

“The people of California invested heavily their time into Trump rallies in San Diego, Big Bear, Newport Beach, Santa Barbara, Temecula, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendora, Lake Elsinore, Dana Point and Carlsbad. We will not let the corrupt democrats give away our state!!” the petition read. As of this writing, 11,220 people have signed it.

Thousands of Trump supporters descended on Washington D.C. this past weekend for what was called the ‘Million Maga March’ in solidarity with the president and his claims of widespread voter fraud and a stolen election. Violence unfolded as night fell on Saturday, with various skirmishes and brawls erupting between Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators supporting the election results and Joe Biden.

Videos of the violence surfaced online, and Masvidal shared and responded to footage of a  Trump supporter being punched by an alleged Black Lives Matter supporter.

“I bet I can get a couple of teammates and start attending these things #supernecessary. And I say this not to promote violence. To keep the peace. We are all in this together,” he stated via his personal Twitter account.

While not getting into the political arena as a candidate like Ortiz did, Masvidal is showing out to be a vocal ally of Trump and of the Republican party in his own right. Whether Masvidal will in fact serve as an enforcer of sorts at future pro-Trump events remains to be seen.

While the UFC president Dana White has never been shy about his support for President Trump, this particular niche of support highlights how certain Latino demographics have moved away from the Democratic Party in unexpected ways.

Josué Monroy is a 4th year International Relations major at UC Davis. Hailing from Santa Cruz, CA, his interests include Latin American literature and politics, as well as playing music in his spare time.

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    1. David Greenwald

      Sort of…


      Here is 2016

      Here is 2020

      Blacks and Latinos moved marginally for Trump – within the margin of error, if you believe they can do an accurate exit poll.  The bigger factor is that all threw groups overwhelmingly voted for Biden and did so in larger numbers than 2016.  Not quite the numbers of Blacks as 2008 or 2012, but still stronger than 2016.

      1. Keith Olsen

        I don’t put a lot of faith in polls in general as we’ve learned the last two presidential elections.  They’ve become too politicized and lean left.  Honestly do you believe that all the black voters that voted for Trump are going to admit it?

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