From Cagey Exchanges to MMA: Zuckerberg and Musk to Take Rivalry to the Octagon

(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, Stephan Savoia)

Two tech industry titans are gearing up for a “cage fight,” with challenger Elon Musk calling Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg to the mat. The prospect of the bout originated from an exchange on a tweet about Meta’s proposed “Twitter rival” called Project 92, which is being touted as a “sane” version of the internet’s town square. Chris Cox, Meta’s Chief Product Officer, called the project “our response to Twitter” and threw the first jab at Twitter by suggesting that Meta’s “been hearing from creators and public figures who are interested in having a platform that is sanely run.”


Elon Musk responded to this low blow, writing:

I’m sure Earth can’t wait to be exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options. At least it will be “sane”. Was worried there for a moment.

Another Twitter user responded to Musk, playfully warning that the Meta man has taken up mixed martial arts recently, tweeting, “Better be careful Elon Musk I heard he does the jujitsu now.” The comment featured a series of laughing-crying emojis. In response, Musk presented the challenge, answering, “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol”

Thus, the stage was set. Zuckerberg posted an Instagram story on Wednesday with a screenshot of Musk’s prior post overlayed with the words “Send Me Location.”

A Meta spokesperson, Iska Sar, responded to an inquiry about the seriousness of the accepted cage match, answering, “The story speaks for itself.” Then, Musk picked his location, responding in two words, “Vegas Octagon,” pointing to the Ultimate Fighter (UFC) arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Musk followed up with a preview of his combat skills, writing:

I have this great move that I call “The Walrus”, where I just lie on top of my opponent & do nothing.


While the pair of social media leaders have combated previously for the title of the world’s wealthiest person (Musk wins that one in 2020), their history of jostling runs longer than that. They have publicly argued about artificial intelligence, with Musk being a long-time proponent of regulation and highlighting the risks of AI. Zuckerberg dismissed such warnings in a 2017 Facebook Live video broadcast, calling the ideas “doomsday scenarios” and those promoting them “pretty irresponsible,” calling them, “naysayers.”

Musk fired back, suggesting that Zuckerberg didn’t know what he was talking about, saying:

I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is pretty limited.

Zuckerberg is physically smaller than Musk but won silver and gold medals, competing in the Featherweight Division of a jiu-jitsu championship last month. Meanwhile, Musk has been offered training from the infamous social media influencer Andrew Tate, who has a bone to pick with Meta, posting on Thursday:

Meta banned me everywhere for telling the truth about vaccines. But now we can restore honour with a strike at the enemy clans leader. I will train you Elon Musk. You will not lose.


This week, Tate, a former competitive kickboxer, was charged with a series of crimes, including sex trafficking and rape, in Romania and awaits a court hearing that will address his current house arrest status and other potential restrictions. Likewise, podcast host and researcher Lex Fridman also offered to train Musk. It remains unclear if the bantering will result in a match, and if so who Musk would choose as his trainer, or if he will just opt for the “walrus move.”


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