In June, technology moguls Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk hinted at their willingness to engage in a UFC-style cage fight, exchanging playful taunts as tensions flared between the two wealthy entrepreneurs and their respective companies. However, Zuckerberg played down the likelihood of an actual showdown between billionaires, stating on Sunday that Musk’s interest was not genuine.
The concept of the cage match originated when Musk took to Twitter, responding to a discussion about Instagram’s upcoming competitor Threads by suggesting, “I’m open to a cage match if he’s interested lol.”
The following day, Zuckerberg joined the banter by sharing an Instagram story featuring a screenshot of Musk’s tweet, accompanied by the caption “send me location” a phrase reminiscent of a famous quote from former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. A spokesperson from Meta confirmed that Zuckerberg’s response to Musk was made in earnest.
Amid the growing excitement surrounding the potential showdown, Dana White, the president of UFC, became part of the fervor. He shared a video of himself donning a Zuckerberg vs. Musk shirt, which was made accessible for purchase on the official UFC website.
In a July, White was quoted affirming his commitment to coordinating an exhibition match between the technology magnates. He revealed that both CEOs expressed their eagerness to engage in the bout, with both parties concurring on the inclusion of a charitable element in the event.
On July 3, images emerged online depicting Musk undergoing training alongside UFC legend Georges St. Pierre, as well as mixed martial arts coach John Danaher and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt Lex Fridman. A post shared by St. Pierre on Instagram showcased the quartet donning training attire.
Zuckerberg vs. Musk Saga Continues
Our calculations suggest that Musk holds the position of the wealthiest individual globally, boasting an approximate net worth of $225.2 billion. In comparison, Zuckerberg’s net worth is projected to be around $107 billion, securing him the 8th compilation of real-time billionaires worldwide.
In July, Zuckerberg, skilled in the grappling art of Jiu-jitsu, enlisted the expertise of accomplished fighters for training. This was made evident through gym snapshots featuring UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, taken on July 11.
In early August, the two billionaires reignited curiosity about the potential match. Musk announced his weightlifting regimen in preparation for the fight, hinting that the event might be live-streamed on X the newly branded Twitter platform with all proceeds directed towards a veterans’ charity.
In response to Musk’s posts, Zuckerberg communicated via Threads, suggesting the consideration of a “more dependable platform” for live-streaming the fight. He also added a touch of skepticism, mentioning he was not overly optimistic about the fight coming to fruition.
While Zuckerberg has made it unequivocal that he’s prepared for a match, the same level of certainty cannot be attributed to Musk. Musk indicated that the proposed date remains uncertain and mentioned the possibility of needing surgery before the fight can take place.
Shortly after characterizing the concept as being in a state of uncertainty, Musk revealed that the Italian government had endorsed a remarkable location for the bout. He specified that the event would be overseen by their respective foundations rather than the UFC.
Zuckerberg swiftly dismissed Musk’s proposals, asserting that any confirmation of an actual date would come directly from him. He additionally expressed a preference for collaborating with established professional fight organizations such as the UFC and ONE Championship.
Zuckerberg vs. Musk Duel Takes Unforeseen Turns
Just a few days after Zuckerberg expressed reservations about Musk’s commitment to the match, the CEO of Meta took to Threads on August 13th to declare that it’s time to shift focus. This decision stemmed from Musk’s inability to confirm a specific date for the fight. Musk had conveyed that he required surgery, followed by several months of recuperation, before being able to engage in the match. He also proposed a practice round to be held in Zuckerberg’s own backyard.
On the very same day that Zuckerberg announced his intention to pivot, Musk shared a screenshot on X, depicting the alleged conversation wherein he proposed the idea of a practice round. In response to this, Zuckerberg messaged him, suggesting that he should undertake training independently and reach out when he’s prepared to compete. He added that he didn’t wish to continue building anticipation for something that might never come to fruition.
Amidst the exchange of remarks between Musk and Zuckerberg regarding their prospective fight, tensions have escalated between the two due to the introduction of Instagram’s Threads platform. This platform, which directly competes with Twitter, was launched on July 5 and swiftly garnered its initial 100 million users by July 10. On that very day, Musk took to Twitter to refer to Zuckerberg as a “cuck” and suggested a provocative “dick measuring contest.”
Concurrently, an escalation in tensions was mirrored in a legal backdrop. An attorney representing Twitter accused Meta of potentially misappropriating Twitter’s “trade secrets and other intellectual property.” This accusation was accompanied by a threat to initiate legal proceedings against Meta.
The allegation was centered around Meta allegedly utilizing former Twitter employees to aid in the development of Threads, which was characterized as a “copycat” application mimicking the features of Twitter.
Insights and Considerations
Subsequently, during a Twitter Spaces session, Walter Isaacson, a biographer of Musk, put forth his skepticism about the likelihood of an actual fight occurring. He proposed that the entire notion was more of a “metaphor,” symbolizing the competitive rivalry between the CEOs’ opposing social media platforms.
In the realm of hypotheticals, this was the marker established by DraftKings in June, positioning Zuckerberg as the favored contender to win the match. Bettors were required to stake $160 on Zuckerberg to yield a profit of $100. DraftKings assigned odds of +140 for a potential Musk upset, indicating that a $100 wager could potentially yield a profit of $140.
The basis for these odds lay in Zuckerberg’s comparatively youthful age and his consistent engagement in physical activity, according to the assessments made by the sports betting company.
A cage match involving the technology CEOs could potentially incorporate certain parameters to accommodate their differing sizes. Notably, Musk conveyed to White that he had no intention of “shedding any weight” in preparation for a potential encounter. At 52 years old, Musk stands at approximately 6 feet 1 inch tall and has openly stated on Twitter that he rarely engages in workouts.
On the other hand, Zuckerberg, aged 39 and measuring 5 feet 7 inches, consistently participates in physical training and competitive activities.
In fact, he recently achieved two medals in his inaugural Jiu-jitsu tournament in May. However, there is a report stating that he was submitted in one of his matches by a choke hold, though Zuckerberg disputes this claim. Additionally, it appears that Zuckerberg holds a more fervent interest in fighting, as he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, were in attendance at a UFC fight card event last October.
Amid their playful talk, a cage match between Zuckerberg and Musk captivated interest. Skepticism arose, hinting at a symbolic rivalry. DraftKings’ odds favored Zuckerberg, reflecting age and fitness. Legal disputes and training insights added intrigue. Isaacson questioned the fight’s reality.
As the tale combines competition and skepticism, The Zuckerberg vs. The Musk saga continues to intrigue.