ELON MUSK AND MARK ZUCKERBERG PREPARE FOR A “CAGE MATCH”
By: Sophie Tian
Musk and Zuckerberg are competitors and often criticize each other, but Musk took their rivalry to another level by challenging Zuckerberg to a “cage match” last month. Tech billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have been planning with UFC president Dana White for the past two weeks. The event will most likely take place in Las Vegas or the Roman Colosseum.
Musk, who runs Tesla, Twitter, and SpaceX, proposed the fight on social media. Zuckerberg, chief executive and chairman of Meta, asked White if Musk was serious. He was. “Send me location,” posted Zuckerberg on Instagram, referencing the catchphrase of Khabib Nurmagomedov, a UFC athlete.
Since then, White has been talking to both Musk and Zuckerberg separately every night. He was “on the phone with those two until 2:45 in the morning. They both want to do it,” he said.
According to White, the fight would be an exhibition match and outside UFC rules. Musk and Zuckerberg agree on including some form of charity in the event.
White says he’s worried about the physical gaps between the two-- Musk is 52 and Zuckerberg is 39. In addition, Musk is reportedly at least 70 pounds heavier. “They’re in two completely different weight classes,” said White.
While neither has professionally fought, Zuckerberg has more experience. For the past 18 years, he’s been doing Brazilian jujitsu, a grappling martial art sometimes used in UFC fighting, in his garage. He says he enjoys Brazilian jujitsu because it requires “100 percent focus” and prioritizes strategy over physical strength.
Zuckerberg has connected with martial arts experts including Dave Camarillo, James Terry, and Khai Wu, and last year, Meta partnered with UFC to add martial arts to its virtual reality app. This May, he competed in his first public martial arts tournament in Redwood City, California, where he won gold and silver medals.
Zuckerberg also keeps fit. He times himself as he runs, then challenges friends to beat him. Last month, he completed the “Murph” challenge, a series of workouts that must be completed while wearing weighted body armor, including pull-ups, push-ups, running, and squats.
“Doing sports that require your full attention is really important to my mental health and the way to stay focused on everything I’m doing,” he said in his podcast.
On the other hand, Musk said he trained in judo, Kyokushin, and “no rules street fighting”, but also tweeted that he almost never works out. After participating in an exhibition with a sumo wrestler, he sustained a back injury which he had to get surgery on.
White said that Musk made it very clear he wasn’t going to lose any weight in preparation for the fight. “Are we going to fight or are we not going to fight?” Musk told him.
Although Zuckerberg’s friends generally supported the match, some think the fight would be a distraction to his work. Musk reportedly hates sports, but no one could argue with him, says a friend.
Musk’s mother, Maye Musk, disapproves of the fight. “Don’t encourage this match!” she tweeted.
If the fight does happen, it would be a rare occurrence. While rivalries within the tech industry are common, no one would have dreamed of a brawl between two tech billionaires in a Las Vegas arena. A “cage match” between Musk and Zuckerberg would make headlines.