The internet is lit with the discussions of a potential MMA match between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. It all began in June 2023, when Tesla CEO tweeted that he was “up for a cage fight” with Zuckerberg. The Facebook co-founder responded by posting a screenshot of Musk’s tweet with the caption “send me location”.
Ever since, the idea of a billionaire battle has generated a lot of interest. However, details about where the match will take place, or whether it was just online banter between the two popular figures, have remained vague.
Zuck vs Musk is a Long Time Coming
The two tech billionaires have been publicly feuding for years, and the cage fight challenge was seen by many as a way to settle their differences once and for all.
Both have had differing views on the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Musk has been vocal about the dangers of unchecked AI development and has called for regulation and safeguards. On the other hand, Mark Zuckerberg has expressed a more optimistic view and downplayed the potential risks.
When a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded and destroyed a Facebook satellite in 2016, the two tech moguls exchanged views publically. The rocket was carrying a satellite for Facebook’s internet.org initiative, but exploded during a pre-launch test. Musk made a light-hearted comment on Twitter, saying, “Yeah, my fault for being an idiot. We did give them a free launch to make up for it and I think they had some insurance.” Zuckerberg cheekily responded that “I appreciate your support. Upgrading our software is harder than building a rocket. :-)”
Apart from distinctive views on technology, the unique personalities are also a factor of friction between two men. Musk is known for his outspoken and sometimes erratic behavior, while Zuckerberg is more reserved and controlled.
However, it is unclear whether these differences are the reason behind a physical fight or that it will actually happen in any capacity.
Complications with the Date
Musk caused quite a confusion with his latest tweet that he “may need surgery before the fight can happen” due to problems with his neck and upper back. He also added that the exact date was “still in flux” and “we will know this week”.
This came only a day after he posted on X (rebranded Twitter) that the contest would be livestreamed on his platform. He added in his post that all proceeds from the fight would go to army veterans.
This prompted a series of posts from Mark Zuckerberg. At one instance, he said that he was “not holding his breath” over the proposed fight with Elon Musk. He added that he was “ready today” for a bout but that he had not received confirmation from the world’s richest man. Zuckerberg’s reply came yesterday on the Threads app – “popularized as the Twitter killer”. He also revealed that he had suggested a date of 26 August for the contest.
Another one of his post took a swing at tech glitches that have hit Twitter since Musk bought the platform for 44 billion USD last year. Zuckerberg has suggested that the proposed fight should use a more “reliable platform that can actually raise money for charity”.
Who Is More Likely to Win the Bout?
There is no clear consensus on who would win in a Zuck vs Musk cage fight. Some experts believe that Musk, who is taller and heavier, would have a physical advantage. While others believe that Zuckerberg, who has been training in martial arts, would have the edge in terms of skill.
Both of them have been involved in some combat sports to limited extent. Many bookmarkers and betting platforms have already been predicting the probable winner. Betfair has provided odds of 4/6 which have caught the attention of sports enthusiasts. According to a report by Oddspedia, Zuckerberg seems to have an 83% likelihood of emerging victorious if this unique battle takes place.
Many have also compared the respective skills of the two men. One is considered strong and aggressive while the other has the credit of possessing patience and cunning.
A huge fan of boxing and wrestling, Musk is known to spar with friends and colleagues. Apparently, he has been preparing for his showdown with Zuckerberg. In July, the Canadian UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre shared on Twitter about a productive training session he had with Musk, alongside the podcast host and jiu-jitsu black belt Lex Fridman and the martial artist John Danaher.
Furthermore, this past Friday, Musk bragged about lifting 45 pounds of weight in a livestream session. As the camera captured him lifting a dumbbell, Musk quipped, “This is me curling a 45 so there you go”. The video was seemingly a trial run for Twitter’s live video feature but served a dual purpose.
While, he may be an avid weight lifter, there is no recording of him practicing an actual fight. This is a step back against Zuckerberg, who has been training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) for several years.
The Art of Fighting
Zuckerberg started BJJ training in 2016, and won medals in several competitions. He trains at the Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu gym in San Jose, California with Dave Camarillo. He is a regular sparring partner of professional fighters like Israel Adesanya and Mike Muscemi. His trainer has praised Zuckerberg, saying that he is a “natural” at the sport and “very dedicated” to his training. The video below shows a sneak peek into Zuckerberg’s skills.
BJJ is a ground fighting and grappling technique that focuses on submission holds. Skilled jiu-jitsu practitioners often make their opponents tap (forfeit) by putting them in brutal choke holds and joint locks. Sometime they target the knee and ankle joints repeatedly with leg locks and heel hocks to wear out their competitor’s limb. It is the most dangerous form of this technique and can result in broken bones and joints. Musk may have a jiu-jitsu black belt training partner at his side, his odds seem slim due to a lack of years of training unlike Zuckerberg.