August 8, 2023 – A faceoff between two of the world’s most powerful tech billionaires, Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX, and Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, seems to be more than a mere social media tease. What started as a series of online jabs and tweets has evolved into talks for a possible “cage match” exhibition fight.
The narrative began to unfold in June, with Musk taking a dig at Zuckerberg over Meta’s new Twitter rival called Threads. As the banter continued, a Twitter user jokingly warned Musk of Zuckerberg’s jiu-jitsu training. “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol,” Musk wrote, to which Zuckerberg seemed to agree, leading to discussions around a fight in the Vegas Octagon.
![Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg](AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, Stephan Savoia, File)
The Progress So Far
Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), has been actively involved in orchestrating this showdown, discussing it with both tech moguls almost every night. Although an exhibition match and outside UFC jurisdiction, White is set to help produce the event, with the preferred location being Las Vegas. In an unorthodox twist, Musk has also mentioned the possibility of hosting the event in the Roman Colosseum.
The broad contours of an event are taking shape, including a charity component, though the details are still being negotiated. While some of Zuckerberg’s friends and advisors support the match, others view it as a distraction. Similarly, people close to Musk are torn between his aversion to sports and the unpredictability of his decision-making.
The Challenges Ahead
One of the concerns expressed by Mr. White is the physical gaps between the billionaires. With a 13-year age difference and Musk weighing at least 70 pounds more, the matchup could be problematic in the context of mixed martial arts.
Musk himself may be facing a personal challenge as well, recently noting that he may require surgery before the fight can proceed. He stated, “I’m getting an MRI of my neck & upper back tomorrow. May require surgery before the fight can happen. Will know this week.” He has also mentioned training for the fight by lifting weights.
![Dana White, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk](Credit…Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC, via Getty Images)
Online Antics and Jabs Continue
The online interplay between Musk and Zuckerberg has continued to create a buzz, with both continuing to challenge each other and add fuel to the fire. On Sunday, Musk announced the fight would be live-streamed on his social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, with proceeds going to a charity for veterans. Zuckerberg’s response was a cheeky suggestion to use a “more reliable platform.”
Zuckerberg, trained in mixed martial arts and known for his love of the sport, seems more eager, stating, “I’m ready today. I suggested Aug 26 when he first challenged, but he hasn’t confirmed.”
A Spectacle or A Stunt?
While there are no guarantees that a match will indeed occur, the banter and planning have already captured the public’s attention, sparking an endless chain of memes and posts. Even if the cage match agreement is a jest, it has already become a marketing phenomenon that may elevate the public personas of both tech leaders.
The tech world has never seen a sporting feud on this scale. If Musk and Zuckerberg do make it to the ring, it would be a rare spectacle. However, with the complexities involved and both personalities known for their unpredictable antics, only time will tell if this cage match will transform from an online skirmish to a physical reality.
The Associated Press reached out to Meta, X, and Ultimate Fighting Championship for statements, but there has been no official confirmation as of Monday morning.
In the end, whether reality or ruse, this unusual duel between two wildly wealthy tech titans has already made headlines, reflecting both the competitive nature of the tech industry and the intriguing personas of its leading figures.