Two of the world’s most high-profile technology billionaires – Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg – have agreed to fight each other in a cage match at Vegas.
The clash of the tech industry titans has shifted from the business world to martial arts – as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg appear to have challenged each other to a cage fight.
The Twitter and Facebook owners have traded barbs in recent weeks after it emerged that Mr Zuckerberg was planning to launch a competitor to the social media platform Mr Musk bought last year.
Until Wednesday, their sparring was restricted to their respective platforms, with Mr Musk responding to the reports by saying: “I’m sure Earth can’t wait to be exclusively under Zuck’s thumb.”
But when it was pointed out to Mr Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, that Mr Zuckerberg has become accomplished at Jiu Jitsu, Mr Musk quipped: “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol [laughing out loud].”
Mr Zuckerberg responded on Instagram, appearing to throw down the gauntlet, as he stated: “Send me [the] location.”
The two billionaires floated the idea of facing off at the Vegas Octagon, the Las Vegas arena that hosts the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The suggestion appeared to be made in jest, but Facebook’s parent company Meta hinted Mr Zuckerberg could be serious. “The story speaks for itself,” the spokesman said.
Mr Musk said he was happy to enlist help training for the fight “if this is for real”.
The smart money might be on Mr Zuckerberg in a fight: he recently boasted of completing a punishing fitness challenge called “The Murph”, while Mr Musk jokingly referred to himself as “the walrus”.
Mr Zuckerberg, 39, has been training in mixed martial arts (MMA) and Jiu Jitsu – even winning tournaments in the latter.
His “Murph” challenge was made up of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 press-ups and 300 squats, and another one-mile run.
The challenge, which is all completed while wearing a 9kg weighted vest, was named in memory of a US Navy Seal who was killed in Afghanistan.
Mr Musk, meanwhile, has fewer accolades in combat sports, but does appear to have the upper hand when it comes to sheer size. He is 6ft 2in while Mr Zuckerberg is 5ft 7in.
The 51-year-old Tesla founder highlighted this advantage, jokingly describing one of his favoured fighting moves as “the walrus”.
He said: “I have this great move that I call ‘The Walrus,’ where I just lie on top of my opponent and do nothing.”
Mr Musk added that he almost never exercises, “except for picking up my kids and throwing them in the air”.
He also claims to have been involved in “real hard-core street fights” while growing up in South Africa.
It is not the first time the two billionaires have feuded. The two have previously had a public spat over the future of artificial intelligence (AI).
Mr Musk has long warned about the dangers of the technology, which he believes poses an existential threat, while Mr Zuckerberg believes AI can be harnessed for good.
The two men have for years competed in another elite tussle: vying for a top spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with Mr Musk knocking Mr Zuckerberg off the number three spot on the list in 2020.
He was named the richest man in the world shortly afterwards, while Mr Zuckerberg has fallen to number 10.
Mr Zuckerberg’s new platform, reportedly named “Threads”, could enable users to follow accounts they already follow on Instagram, Meta’s image-sharing app.
The new platform could even allow the company to bring over followers from other platforms such as Mastodon, another Twitter rival.
It is not the first time Mr Musk has challenged a public figure to a fight. Last year, the Twitter owner challenged Vladimir Putin in “single combat” over his invasion of Ukraine.
In turn, Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman Chechen leader, mocked Mr Musk as “effeminate” calling him “Elona” and saying the Russian president would “beat the hell out of you”.
“If he is afraid to fight, I will agree to use only my left hand and I am not even left-handed,” Mr Musk replied, signing off the message as “Elona”.
Who would win in a cage fight, Musk or Zuckerberg?