While UFC Vegas 61 was an entertaining event with several wild finishes and moments, it will most likely end up being remembered as, “that show UFC held in an empty arena so Mark Zuckerberg could watch undisturbed.”
By the time the “Dern vs. Yan”-led event started, everyone and their dog knew that Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg was behind the unusual conditions being set up for the evening inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. There would be no fans. There would be no press. We have heard multiple reports that some fighter family members were turned away as well.
What wasn’t clear was the reason. Was Zuckerberg going to wow the world by setting up the first UFC event to be broadcast in Mark’s much-hyped virtual reality Metaverse via some sort of cool tech?
Alas, that was not the case. Instead, it was just as lame as many predicted: the APEX was cleared out so Zuck and his small posse didn’t have to interact with the general public. That’s it, that’s all.
Several fighters past and present commented on the situation, with reactions ranging from dismayed to bemused.
Yes, who of us hasn’t bought out an entire arena to watch athletes bludgeon themselves while we can’t be bothered to be among the unwashed masses?— Nathan Quarry (@NateRockQuarry) October 2, 2022
I’d say for most of us the lap of luxury involves buying brown mustard. https://t.co/nfxK0WhjaJ
The best part about the ufc events live is the crowd going nutso like stay home bro wtf— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) October 2, 2022
Zuckermanberg Fighting Championships— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) October 2, 2022
They’re lettin Mark Zuckerberg pick the winner tonight— Terrance ‘T Wrecks’ McKinney (@twrecks155) October 2, 2022
Mark zuckerberg was like big foot tonight— Brian BOOM Kelleher (@brianboom135) October 2, 2022
Dana looks like a giant next to Zuck, at least double the head size https://t.co/eQLk6Ba9h7— Funky (@Benaskren) October 2, 2022
“We are living in a simulation” continues to be…happening. https://t.co/F1jYs286pR— Cody Gibson (@TheRenegade559) October 2, 2022
MMA reporters and analysts were also unimpressed ...
When I really enjoy something, my first thought is to exclude my fellow fans from enjoying it with me. https://t.co/AS8FtI6g1e— Josh Nason (@JoshNason) October 2, 2022
Mark Zuckerberg just posted this photo on Instagram with the caption: "Excited to see Mackenzie Dern fight tonight in Vegas. Thanks Dana White for inviting us!"— Robbie Fox (@RobbieBarstool) October 1, 2022
Maybe Dana called "total bullshit" that Zuck rented the Apex out earlier this week because he was invited? pic.twitter.com/dkmx6oR3nF
Folks getting lost into the question of 'rent' as if that's the central one. The issue is whether everyone else's absence is a function of his presence, not whether that's predicated on a financial transaction. https://t.co/zTEf1SzZua— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) October 1, 2022
A bunch of people fighting for the pleasure of a single billionaire is a little too on the nose if you ask me. https://t.co/a6yO1jGmzt— John S. Nash (@heynottheface) October 1, 2022
It wasn’t all negative, though. “Beast Boy” Mike Davis — who defeated Viacheslav Borshchev via decision to win the opening fight of the main card (when Zuck arrived) — got an Instagram follow from the billionaire social media mogul.
Me when a fan tells me they thought I got robbed. pic.twitter.com/srVR1Zftss— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) October 2, 2022
And as Angela Hill is pointing out, we now have a whole bunch of new memes from the night. Our favorite comes from this moment in the Raoni Barcelos vs. Trevin Jones fight. While Zuckerberg is a big fan of the sport, his wife Priscilla clearly wasn’t prepared for the carnage on display at cageside.
Honestly, we think this video clip alone is worth the price of admission.
For complete UFC Vegas 61 results and coverage click here.