After Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg attended UFC Fight Night on October 1, some began to speculate that a deal between the metaverse contender and the UFC might be in the works. As it turns out, Meta is teaming up with the UFC to bring MMA to the metaverse. Both live and on-demand MMA events will be available to Meta Quest users via Meta’s Horizon Worlds platform.
“We are excited to offer an unprecedented level of engagement for Fight Pass subscribers and MMA fans around the world by producing a live MMA event in virtual reality,” says UFC Fight Pass president and general manager Crowley Sullivan. “With Meta providing the VR platform and YBVR lending their production expertise, we’re confident this will be a great experience for fight fans.”
Fans can view and interact with other fans logged in to the platform while watching UFC events in virtual reality. The VR UFC events are being produced using VR180, which offers fans a panoramic 180-degree view of the event. The first UFC event t be streamed live to Horizon Worlds was the LFA 44, which marked the first time a combat sports event has been available on Meta’s VR platform. Announcements concerning UFC matches to be streamed to Horizon Worlds are expected over the next few weeks.
While the deal may excite some fans, others were put off by Zuckerberg’s appearance at UFC Fight Night. During Zuckerberg’s visit, the UFC temporarily restricted access for fans and media. Some of the fighters also claim they didn’t receive the media coverage they would have had the Meta founder not been present.
The Zuckerberg Blues
UFC athletes and fans aren’t the only ones peeved at Zuckerberg. Bill George, former CEO of med-tech company Medtronic, recently criticized Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership. In his new book, True North: Leading Authentically in Today’s Workplace, Emerging Leader Edition, George uses the Meta founder as an example of a boss that has lost sight of his beliefs and purpose as a leader. Likewise, back in August, music artist Grimes stated that Zuckerberg is underqualified to develop the metaverse.