Mon Nov 01 02:55pm EDT
Aside from lobbying states to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts, the UFC hasn't publicly gotten involved in the world of politics. That changed this year as several key members of the promotion have gotten involved in the heated Nevada Senate race between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle. Just before UFC 121, Dana White made appearances in Las Vegas and Reno to support Reid. Frank Mir's also gotten plenty of facetime on local television and radio with his backing of the Democratic incumbent.
Senate Majority Leader Reid is in a dogfight for his seat. The current anti-Obama/democratic climate has Angle as a sizable favorite to win the election. Off-shore sportsbooks installed Angle as a minus-300 favorite.
White's pro-Reid efforts began back in March and continued in June.
[...] White co-hosted a campaign fundraiser for Miller at Las Vegas's hip Palms casino, his first foray into the political realm.
"Dana's not a political person — I asked him to do it based on our personal relationship," Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller said, adding, "He was a big draw. It was wildly successful."
White, Mir and other UFC fighters, like Randy Couture, who have publicly supported Reid, hope to rally MMA's key age group.
"The UFC is one of the most powerful brands in the world for reaching 18- to 30-year-olds," Miller said. "Anytime a candidate gets their endorsement, it sends a powerful message to that demographic."
Getting involved in the political machine doesn't come without risks. Couture got smashed by some of his fans on Twitter.
"You can question my political taste if you like but what you don’t know is harry Reid has been instrumental in the sanctioning of mma. And continues to help the sport in places like nyc! So even as a republican I support him because he supports us!"
The race has been highlighted by a campaign full of negative ads. A ton of money has poured into Nevada from around the country, but Mir says he didn't get paid to do the commercial for Reid.
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