Mark Zuckerberg and his wife sat cageside for UFC Vegas 61 on Saturday night. Normally, it's not incredibly notable when a rich and/or famous person has good seats for a UFC event, but Zuckerberg was the only fan there on Saturday night. And his presence was a great reminder that Dana White loves to lie.
On Monday night it was announced the event would be closed to the fans and media. No one had any idea what was going on until Wednesday when headliner Mackenzie Dern told the media that Mark Zuckerberg had rented out the entire event. Case closed, right?
Kind of. A few hours later UFC President Dana White took to Twitter to say that "Zuckerberg did NOT rent out the UFC Apex. That's total bullshit."
Anyone who has spent any time following the UFC knew what that meant. Zuckerberg definitely did rent out the UFC Apex.
And wouldn't you know it, Saturday night rolled around and there was Zuckerberg cageside. Along with his wife, the only people in attendance.
I guess technically, someone could have negotiated all this on behalf of Zuckerberg and he didn't technically rent out the event himself, but it's pretty clear that Dern was telling the truth. Which means that White was... What's the word?
There are a lot of questions we'll probably never have answered about this. Why couldn't the media come? Why did he settle for some low-level card when he has the money to buy out Madison Square Garden for a title fight? And why did Dana White lie about it?
If Zuckerberg wanted it to be a secret, he probably shouldn't have been sitting right next to the cage where he was spotted within minutes of the event starting. Did White think that Zuckerberg being there was some incredible Easter Egg he wanted people to find on their own? Or does the man just hate not being able to announce everything about the UFC no matter how inconsequential it may be?
It's understandable that White wants to control the narrative coming from the UFC at all times. And it is something we should be used to by now. This is, after all, the guy who banned Ariel Helwani, the most high profile MMA reporter, for life after he broke news ahead of an official announcement.
And this has to be almost as bad, right? Is it actually worse because the stakes of this lie are so low? This was so blatant and protected the dumbest possible story which everyone would find out was true literal days later. Oh well. Next question.