Meta Platforms (META) would provide the UFC an on-ramp to the metaverse. The UFC would provide META with valuable global content that could both serve as grist for META’s virtual reality mill and provide META with a competitive edge in the content wars versus TikTok, Apple (AAPL), Amazon/Prime Video/Twitch (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Google/YouTube (GOOG), Microsoft/Xbox (MSFT) and EA Sports (EA), to name a few.

UFC president Dana White has previously expressed interest in promoting a fight card that would take place in the metaverse:

Rumors have been circulating this week that Meta Platforms founder Mark Zuckerberg rented out the UFC’s Apex facility where UFC Fight Night will take place this Saturday night October 1st:

White shot down the rumors, but this is not the type of rumor one would want to publicly confirm if the UFC and META are in the exploratory stages of a strategic partnership:

White recently met with Zuckerberg, the contents of the meeting are unknown, although it is known that Zuckerberg practices MMA and is a UFC fan:

  • The UFC is a scalable business and generates an Adjusted EBITDA margin of approximately 50%. See UFC parent company Endeavor Group (EDR)’s recent 10Q HERE. The UFC is included in the Owned Sports Properties segment.
  • Today, EDR announced that it had closed its acquisition of sports betting company OpenBet. It would be interesting for META and the UFC/EDR to hold fight cards in the metaverse while enabling audience members to place bets from within the metaverse.
October 1st, 2022 Update: Zuck in attendance, UFC Vegas 61.

Interview with Endeavor Group founder and CEO Ariel Emanuel

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