Mackenzie Dern is headlining Saturday’s UFC Vegas 61 event against Yan Xioanan, but according to UFC President Dana White, it’ll be closed to the public and media.
White didn’t give a specific reason why, but it was Dern who revealed the reason during the event’s media day.
“I know Mark Zuckerberg rented out the whole event. So, I know he’ll be there, but I don’t know if it’s just like literally him and his wife or if he’s gonna have friends or if it’s just like a small party, I don’t know,” Dern said.
“I know Mark Zuckerberg rented out the whole event.”
Mackenzie Dern spills the beans on Saturday’s private event at the UFC Apex for #UFCVegas61.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) September 28, 2022
“From going to a main event to a crowd to very, very private, I’m definitely like, okay we are back like sparring. It’s a different type of adversity they have to get to because you get distracted so easily. So any like commentating or anything, if you’re not focused, your mind can get distracted. So I’m excited and that just makes me more driven to put on a good show for I know everyone’s watching on tv, but for Mark and whoever’s gonna be there. Put on a show, that’s what they wanna see is a show. We’re gonna give a show.”
White was quick to shutdown Dern’s claim.
“Mark Zuckerberg did NOT rent out the UFC Apex. That’s total b—,” he tweeted.
White’s previous reasoning was to give the media a day off.
“We just figured that you guys have been so busy lately, that we give you guys a night off. You guys are here on Tuesdays, you’re here on Saturdays… We need to give you guys a break. You’re welcome,” he told reporters during a scrum on Tuesday.
“You guys just stay home, order a pizza and watch the fights, take them in, and enjoy yourselves. There’s no big secret… We just to give you guys a nice weekend off with your families and relax and enjoy yourselves.”
Zuckerberg has not confirmed Dern’s comments at the time of this writing.
The Facebook CEO has recently gotten interested in MMA, recently sparring with UFC’s Khai Wu.