Billionaire Smackdown: The On-Again Off-Again Zuckerberg And Musk Fight
As we face the end of summer and some of the most disastrous weather events on record, it is time to turn our attention on the really important stuff. Like the threatened battle royal between the Earth’s two most powerful beings, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.
If you’ve been living in a cave—or, more likely, overseeing the construction of an underground bunker to spare yourself and your loved ones from the coming apocalypse—here’s the gist: talk of an MMA-style fight between the two moguls began in June. That was when it was reported that Zuckerberg was working on what we now know as Threads, a social media platform to compete against Twitter, or what we now know as X.
Pay attention, it’s a fast-moving world we’re living in.
Was this engineered by Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor? No. It appears to be the brainchild of the two men—specifically Musk, who challenged Zuck to a cage match when he heard about the nascent Threads.
And now here we are.
Zuckerberg and Musk train with MMA/UFC fighters
“And now you will fly to him, and you will battle him to the death. Black and blue. Fight night. The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world: God versus man; day versus night; Zuck of Meta versus Musk of X!”
– paraphrasing Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
UFC president Dana White soon weighed in, telling the world that both men were “absolutely deadly serious.”
While it’s fun to imagine previous titans of industry going at it—say, Andrew Carnegie in a boxing match with John D. Rockefeller, or J. Paul Getty going full Mike Tyson on Howard Hughes—a match between two of the richest men in the world is pretty much without precedent.
Then again, we doubt that those robber barons had anything like the workout regimen pursued by today’s Forbes 500. In true Batman fashion, for the last two years the 39-year-old Zuckerberg has been training with MMA fighters like Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski.
The Penguin waits for no man.
Musk too has been training, apparently with UFC pros like Georges St-Pierre. And while the Tesla tycoon has a larger frame—6’2”, 187 lbs vs. the Meta man’s 5’7”, 155 lbs—it appears that the 52-year-old hasn’t been putting in the same hours in the gym as his younger counterpart.
Adding ‘fighter’ to the Zuckerberg and Musk personal brand
At this point you may well be asking yourself, “How will fighting each other affect the personal brands of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk?”
Musk is known as a free-speech advocate, a disruptor, a hands-on industry leader, and one-time SNL host with a mother who seems to have stepped out of Futurama. Zuckerberg’s personal brand includes tech visionary, innovator and entrepreneur, philanthropist, and guy who wears a hoodie to business meetings.
Adding “MMA fighter” and “champion” as part of their personal brand strategy probably couldn’t hurt.
Will the Zuckerberg and Musk fight happen?
Well, it might, but it’s not looking good.
Elon Musk wouldn’t be the first billionaire to tweet something blustery, and his challenge to his arch-nemesis in the tech world probably falls under the category of “meant it for a minute.”
After some back-and-forth, including Musk proposing they hold the gladiatorial combat in the Colosseum, the contretemps has lost steam.
“I think we can all agree Elon isn’t serious, and it’s time to move on,” Zuckerberg wrote on Threads in mid-August.
“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.”
Perhaps another couple of billionaires can take up the gauntlet. Jeff Bezos vs. Bill Gates, anyone?