Veteran UFC cutman sports QAnon conspiracy symbols during ESPN event

A longtime UFC official was spotted on the UFC on ESPN 11 broadcast wearing symbols associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory. Don House, a…

By: Karim Zidan | 3 years ago
Veteran UFC cutman sports QAnon conspiracy symbols during ESPN event
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

A longtime UFC official was spotted on the UFC on ESPN 11 broadcast wearing symbols associated with the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Don House, a longtime UFC cutman and “close” friend of UFC President Dana White, appeared on the UFC broadcast during the main event with two QAnon symbols emblazoned on his shirt. The cutman sported a ‘Q’ logo on the front of his shirt and a WWG1WGA logo on the left arm of his shirt, the latter of which stands for “Where we go one we go all” and is used exclusively by QAnon supporters.

QAnon emerged in October 2017 following an anonymous post on the 4chan forum by someone who went by the name Q. The poster alleged to have access to classified information involving the Trump administration, which included false accusations of Democratic politicians and Hollywood actors participating in an international child sex trafficking ring. The baseless theory, which lacks in any evidence whatsoever, also goes by the name The Storm and The Great Awakening.

UFC cutman Don House sporting a ‘Q’ symbol on his clothes during UFC on ESPN 11 main event.

While QAnon continues to thrive primarily on the internet, it appears to have a growing body of adherents, an expanding infrastructure, and even merchandise available on Amazon, Etsy and others. And despite its lack of evidence-based theories, it continues to sustain its movement and attract new followers.

Given QAnon’s determined belief in a deep state conspiracy against President Trump, the FBI recently labeled the shadowy network a potential domestic terror threat.

“The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts,” the document stated.

This is not the first time that the QAnon conspiracy theory has crept its way into the MMA space. A VOX analysis of the QAnon subreddit found that nearly 900 comments were posted by people who were most active in the MMA, fitness, and JoeRogan subreddits. UFC welterweight Jorge Masvidal also used a QAnon hashtag when he posted a false quote by Kurt Cobain in reference to Donald Trump.

Then last week, Albuquerque city councillor Pat Davis posted a picture of a white flag with a black Q perched on the roof of the Jackson Wink Academy. The flag is used by QAnon conspiracy theorists. The Jackson Wink Academy later released a statement on social media addressing the controversial flag and claiming that “an unknown individual put a flag on the roof” of the academy.

While the Jackson Wink Academy is home to past and present UFC champions like Holly Holm and Jon Jones, Don House’s decision to wear QAnon logos marks the first time that such symbols have appeared on a UFC broadcast on ESPN.

Apart from being a longtime cutman, House is also a world champion boxing trainer who helped train the likes of Derrick Harmon and Diego “Chico” Corrales. He is also a close friend of Dana White, whom he met when White was still managing fighters like Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz.

It should be noted that the UFC has barred its cutmen from procuring their own sponsors in the past, which suggests that their clothing is regulated by the organization. Despite their strict measures, House was still able to appear on the ESPN broadcast with QAnon conspiracy symbols emblazoned on his clothing.

The UFC has not responded to a request for comment at this time.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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