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Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg fight: Everything you need to know

A split image of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.
Debbie Rowe/Anthony Quintano/

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are social media titans and legends in their own minds. And while both men are incredibly wealthy, they aren’t exactly beloved by the general public. Zuckerberg has faced intense criticism for years over his stewardship of Facebook and its parent company, Meta. Musk’s rapid decline in popularity started when he took over Twitter in late 2022. Musk’s unpopular changes to Twitter, including rebranding it as X, left an opening for Meta to launch a new social platform of its own called Threads. From there, the rivalry between Musk and Zuckerberg has blown up into a potential celebrity fight that may be settled in a real ring.

There is definitely an appeal to the idea of seeing two tech-bro billionaires knocking the Hell out of each other in a fight. But while Zuckerberg and Musk have apparently had serious conversations about making it happen, whether it will actually come to pass remains to be seen. For now, what we can tell you is how this conflict started, where the bout may be held, and everything you need to know if Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg becomes a real fight.

How did Zuckerberg vs. Musk start?

As noted above, the launch of Threads in June led Musk to accuse Meta of stealing Twitter’s intellectual property. That’s because after Musk laid off thousands of Twitter’s employees, Meta hired some of them to work on its own projects. Coincidentally or not, Meta now has a very Twitter-like platform. Musk appeared to take the initial announcement as a joke. And when a user reminded Musk that Zuckerberg has taken up jiu-jitsu, he quipped “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol.”

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 😅.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 21, 2023

I’m up for a cage match if he is lol

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 21, 2023

Incidentally, Zuckerberg really did compete in a jiu-jitsu event last May. And in a story post on his Instagram account, Zuckerberg appeared to take Musk up on his offer to fight by inviting him to “send me [a] location” that seemed to validate that the fight was taking place.

A Twitter exchange between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

Are Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk friends?

Do billionaires have friends? Because neither Zuckerberg nor Musk seem to be very friendly with each other. And how many friends threaten each other with legal action? Via Variety, Twitter sent a cease-and-desist letter directly to Zuckerberg which shared “serious concerns” that Meta “has engaged in systematic, willful and unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property.”

Meta’s spokesperson told Variety that “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing.” Thus far, there hasn’t been an actual legal filing from Musk’s team, and Threads remains in operation.

Why are Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk fighting?

This question assumes that Zuckerberg and Musk are actually going to fight. We’re not there yet. But the idea has taken hold in social media, and none other than UFC President Dana White endorsed the potential bout. White even went so far as to call it the “biggest fight in the world” before offering to host the battle in Las Vegas.

An @ElonMusk vs. #MarkZuckerberg UFC fight could actually happen — and it would be the BIGGEST fight in the history of the world, according to #UFC Prez @DanaWhite.

— TMZ (@TMZ) June 22, 2023

The potential bout has also gained some level of credibility because Zuckerberg is actually in fighting shape. He’s also been training with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. Zuckerberg probably couldn’t beat a real UFC fighter, but Musk is another story entirely.

No fugazi with Mark 🦈
This is Serious Business‼️

— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) July 11, 2023

Rather than back down from the challenge, Musk has insisted that he is also in training.

Am lifting weights throughout the day, preparing for the fight.

Don’t have time to work out, so I just bring them to work.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 6, 2023

As they say in social media, “pics or it didn’t happen.”

Where will the potential fight take place?

Best history podcasts - Colosseum in Rome
SDK/Flickr / SDK/Flickr

Via TMZ, the UFC’s Dana White recently appeared on Mike Tyson’s Hotboxin podcast and indicated that he reached out to “the Minister of Culture’s team in Italy to actually hold that fight in the Colosseum if it would happen.” The Colosseum is one of the most famous structures in Rome, and it has been standing for almost 2,000 years. During the Roman Empire, the Colosseum was the site of gladiatorial battles and other events that were designed to keep the city’s population entertained.

Musk subsequently confirmed that Rome is the city that he and Zuckerberg have in mind. But he seemed to rule out any involvement from the UFC. Musk also stated that he personally spoke to Italy’s Prime Minister and Minister of Culture. For the record, Italy’s current Prime Minister is Giorgia Meloni, and the Minister of Culture is Gennaro Sangiuliano.

The fight will be managed by my and Zuck’s foundations (not UFC).

Livestream will be on this platform and Meta. Everything in camera frame will be ancient Rome, so nothing modern at all.

I spoke to the PM of Italy and Minister of Culture. They have agreed on an epic location.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 11, 2023

Via The Guardian, Sangiuliano issued a statement that ruled out holding the fight in Rome. But there are still plenty of other suitable locations in the country with arenas that date back to ancient times. Beyond that, there are no further specifics at this time.

Where will the Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg fight be streamed?

As mentioned in the Tweet above, Musk intends to have the fight streamed on both X and Facebook, the respective platforms of himself and Zuckerberg. However, Zuckerberg couldn’t resist needling Musk about X’s notorious unreliability since the latter laid off the Twitter employees who had kept the platform relatively stable for years.

A Thread from Mark Zuckerberg absolutely destroys Elon Musk.

That may be the first murder on Threads.

When will the Musk vs. Zuckerberg fight happen?

Although Musk has indicated that this fight will be a charity event that will benefit veterans, there’s no guarantee that he will ever actually step into the ring with Zuckerberg. Musk talks a good game, but he doesn’t always follow through with his big promises, as exemplified by this Wall Street Journal report about all of the hyperloops that Musk promised to build in cities across America. None have come to fruition.

Zuckerberg has posted on Threads that he suggested August 26 as the date of the fight, but Musk didn’t confirm. Zuckerberg also reiterated his love and dedication for jiu-jitsu and promised that he will continue to train.

Mark Zuckerberg Threads screenshot about a fight with Elon Musk.
Mark Zuckerberg / Threads

However, Musk indicated that he has a medical issue with his right shoulder blade that will require surgery and a recovery time that will “take a few months.”

I spent 3 hours in an MRI machine on Monday. Bottom line is that my C5/C6 fusion is solid, so not an issue.

However, there is a problem with my right shoulder blade rubbing against my ribs, which requires minor surgery. Recovery will only take a few months.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 11, 2023

So for now, there is no date on the calendar for Mark Zuckerberg vs. Elon Musk, or even a venue in place. However, if the fight does happen, DraftKings has already placed Zuckerberg as the clear favorite, with an opening betting line of -160 odds to win.

Zuckerberg calls Musk’s bluff and vows to move on

After months of exchanges that have so far not borne any real fruit, Zuckerberg seems to have seen through Musk’s endless delays and vowed to move on from the proposed fight. In an August 13 post on Threads, Zuckerberg posted this: “I think we can all agree Elon isn’t serious and it’s time to move on. I offered a real date. Dana White offered to make this a legit competition for charity. Elon won’t confirm a date, then says he needs surgery, and now asks to do a practice round in my backyard instead. If Elon ever gets serious about a real date and official event, he knows how to reach me. Otherwise, time to move on. I’m going to focus on competing with people who take the sport seriously.”

It seems like the one again/off again fight is off for now. Any bets on when it will be back on again?

Musk fires back, calls Zuckerberg “a chicken”

The ever-evolving soap opera that is Musk v Zuckerberg: Dawn of Justice has evolved one again. Only hours after Zuckerberg posted that he’s “moving on” from the proposed fight unless Musk commits to a time and place for the scheduled tussle, Musk posted the following response to a user’s comment on the fight on Twitter, er, X:

Zuck is a chicken

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 13, 2023

That comment from Musk is a bit rich as Zuckerberg seemed committed to seeing through the proposed scuffle for charity. Musk, on the other hand, didn’t seem all that bothered with actually doing anything besides throwing shade on his social media platform. This seems like it’s the end of the story, but chances are, another chapter will unfold before 2023 is over.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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