A ‘Cage Match’ In Between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg May Be No Joke

The day after Elon Musk challenged Mark Zuckerberg on social networks to “ a cage match” last month, Dana White, president of the Ultimate Combating Champion, got a text.

It was from Mr. Zuckerberg, president of Meta. He asked Mr. White, who heads the world’s leading blended martial arts competitors, which is combated in cage-like rings, if Mr. Musk was major about a battle.

Mr. White called Mr. Musk, who runs Tesla, Twitter and SpaceX, and verified that he wanted to toss down. Mr. White then passed on that to Mr. Zuckerberg. In action, Mr. Zuckerberg published on Instagram: “Send Me Area,” a recommendation to the catchphrase of Khabib Nurmagomedov, among the U.F.C.’s the majority of embellished professional athletes.

Ever Since, Mr. White stated, he has actually talked with the tech billionaires independently every night to arrange the face-off. On Tuesday, he stated, he was “on the phone with those 2 up until 12:45 in the early morning.” He included, “They both wish to do it.”

If you believed that a cage battle in between 2 of the world’s wealthiest guys was simply an improbable social networks stunt, reconsider.

Over the previous 10 days, Mr. White stated he, Mr. Musk and Mr. Zuckerberg– helped by consultants– have actually worked out behind the scenes and are inching towards physical battle. While there are no assurances a match will take place, the broad shapes of an occasion are taking shape, stated Mr. White and 3 individuals with understanding of the conversations.

The battle would be an exhibit match, Mr. White stated, and outside main U.F.C. jurisdiction and rights offers, though he would assist produce the occasion. The tech leaders have actually concurred there need to be a charity element, Mr. White and an individual knowledgeable about the talks stated, with information still being exercised. The chosen place is Las Vegas, which needs approval from the Nevada Athletic Commission. On Thursday, Mr. Musk tweeted that the occasion might likewise take place in the Roman Colosseum.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s pals and consultants have actually typically supported the match, 2 individuals near to him stated, though others stated a battle would be a diversion and not the very best usage of his time. A single person near to Mr. Musk stated that while he disliked sports and didn’t appear to have the discipline to train routinely, nobody might rule anything out with him.

If the match in between Mr. Musk, 52, and Mr. Zuckerberg, 39, goes on, it would be an unusual phenomenon, even in the braggadocio-filled universe of the tech market. While Steve Jobs and Expense Gates utilized to snipe at each other, the closest the tech world had prior to this to genuine sporting fights was amongst billionaire yachtsmen like Larry Ellison of Oracle and Hasso Plattner of SAP.

However 2 extremely rich tech titans grappling, punching and starting a Las Vegas or Roman arena? Nobody would have dreamed it.

Meta decreased to comment. Mr. Musk did not react to an ask for remark.

Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Musk have actually long teetered in between being rivals, frenemies and straight-out opponents. The 2 have actually slammed each other throughout the years, consisting of about Mr. Musk’s SpaceX rockets, information personal privacy scandals at Meta and more. Most just recently, Mr. Zuckerberg dispatched a group at Meta to develop a rival to Mr. Musk’s Twitter, code-named Job 92.

If they take their competition beyond those jibes, the U.F.C.’s Mr. White stated he had issues about the physical spaces in between the billionaires. Apart from their 13-year age distinction, Mr. Musk is stated to be a minimum of 70 pounds much heavier than Mr. Zuckerberg. In main blended martial arts bouts, professional athletes are typically compared by weight.

” We have 2 people that have actually never ever expertly combated, and they remain in 2 entirely various weight classes,” Mr. White stated. Still, he stated, “it will be the greatest battle in the history of battle sports.”

Mr. Zuckerberg is specifically knowledgeable about the U.F.C. world. Over the previous 18 months, he has actually started an individual journey to bulk up and dove deep into Brazilian jujitsu, a grappling martial art in which rivals attempt to send their challenger and which is utilized in U.F.C. battling.

Mr. Zuckerberg began training on a lark primarily in his garage in 2021, where he developed what he called a “small academy” with a circle of pals who spar with him. He has actually stated he valued that Brazilian jujitsu needed “one hundred percent focus” and tactical believing to beat a challenger, instead of brute strength.

Mr. Zuckerberg has actually looked for martial arts professionals, consisting of Dave Camarillo, James Terry and Khai Wu. In Might, he completed in his very first public martial arts competition in Redwood City, Calif., which he participated in undercover– up till the minute he removed his hat and sunglasses to eliminate. He won gold and silver medals in the obstacle.

In 2015, Meta likewise revealed it had actually partnered with the U.F.C. to bring blended martial arts battles to Horizon Worlds, its virtual truth app.

Mr. White stated Mr. Zuckerberg was really devoted to the sport.

” I have actually been talking with Zuckerberg now for perhaps near to 2 years now,” he stated. “And there’s never ever like small talk or we’re joking and chuckling.” He stated the Meta president was “dead major all the time.”

Mr. Zuckerberg is most likely in combating shape. He has actually been on a rigorous exercise program, opting for runs and tough pals and coworkers to beat his times, 2 individuals near to him stated. Last month, he published an individual record for finishing the “Murph” obstacle, which needs finishing a series of pull-ups, push-ups, running several miles and doing numerous squats, all while using weighted, military-grade body armor.

” Doing sports that generally need your complete attention, I believe, is truly crucial to my psychological health and the method to remain concentrated on whatever I’m doing,” he stated in a current podcast episode.

Mr. Musk, on the other hand, has tweeted that he “practically never ever” exercises and as soon as suffered a back injury that needed surgical treatment after taking part in an exhibit with a sumo wrestler. Last month, he stated he had actually trained in “judo, Kyokushin (complete contact)”– 2 Japanese martial arts– and “no guidelines streetfighting.”

” He made that extremely clear: ‘I’m not going to lose any weight,'” Mr. White stated of Mr. Musk’s technique to the possible match. “‘ Are we going to battle or are we not going to battle?'” Mr. White stated Mr. Musk informed him.

Today, Lex Fridman, a podcaster, published pictures of himself training judo with Mr. Musk. Mr. Fridman, who has actually likewise trained jujitsu with Mr. Zuckerberg, did not react to an ask for remark.

A minimum of a single person does not seem a fan of a battle: Maye Musk, Mr. Musk’s mom.

” Do not motivate this match!” she just recently tweeted, in addition to 2 frowning emojis.

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