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UFC partners with Meta for live and on-demand events in VR on Fight Pass

Mark Zuckerberg and Dana White
Mark Zuckerberg and Dana White
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

It would appear that Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t at UFC Vegas 61 strictly to take in the fights.

Zuckerberg grabbed headlines earlier this month when the UFC shut down the Apex for the public at UFC Vegas 61, giving the Facebook tsar and his wife a private viewing of the event. At the time, the decision stirred some controversy, but now we know why it happened.

On Thursday, the UFC announced a partnership with Zuckerberg’s company Meta, offering live and on-demand MMA events through Meta’s Horizon’s Worlds app for use on their Meta Quest 2 headset.

LFA 144, which takes place on Friday on Fight Pass, is set to be the first event to take part in this new partnership, which will be produced in VR180, giving users a 180-degree panorama of the event. The release also states that users will be able to “see and speak with other fans in real time” and that Fight Pass will offer similar VR experiences with “select combat sports events in the future.”

“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,” Crowley Sullivan, Fight Pass vice president and general manager is quoted as saying. “With Meta providing the VR platform and YBVR lending their production expertise, we’re confident this will be a great experience for fight fans.”

This announcement comes just days after Meta announced their new Meta Quest Pro headset, which it called “the first in a new line of advanced headsets built to expand the possibilities of virtual and mixed reality.” The new headset will retail at $1,499.99.

LFA 144 takes place Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D., and is headlined by bantamweight title fight between Muin Gafurov and Diego Silva.

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