“Send me the location,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said after being challenged by tech billionaire Elon Musk to a “caged match.” To ordinary ears, this may sound like a simple acceptance or a friendly online banter for a fight challenge. However, for eagle-eyed mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, these are the exact words spoken by former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov who accepted the challenge from ‘The Notorious’ Conor. McGregor. Developed in his unrefined English, the Russian fighter’s “Send me the location” was later immortalized as a catchphrase for accepting the challenge of fighting in the world of MMA.
Now, for Zuckerberg, saying the exact same words to accept the ‘caged match’ challenge offered by Musk only propelled the youngest billionaire’s intent.
Why Musk asked for a fight
Musk, who bought Twitter in October last year, has since introduced several changes to the microblogging platform. In a short time, Twitter has undergone quite a transformation, both in terms of appearance and activity. The rapid changes in Twitter’s ecosystem have angered many, leading to a sudden boom for other social media platforms. Amid all of this, rumors swirled that Meta was casting a lookalike rival, before he actually hit Threads on July 6th.
Responding to the buzz, Musk took to Twitter and wrote that launching another platform would eventually put Earth “exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options.”
One Twitter user responded to Musk’s Zuck-zinger, writing, “Better watch out @elonmusk, heard he’s doing jujitsu now.”
Musk, in turn, tweeted, “I’m in for a cage match if he’s lol.”
I’m up for a cage match if he’s lol
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 21, 2023
Zuckerberg accepts the challenge
One would assume Musk was jokingly initiating the cage match challenge, but Zuckerberg responded via an Instagram story saying the epic three words: “Send me the location.”
things are heating up
UFC President Dana White says he had discussions with Musk and Zuckerberg regarding their willingness to get in a fight.
“Both guys are absolutely serious about this,” he said during an interview with TMZ Live.
White has been in regular communication with the two billionaires and plans for the event are said to be in the works, as reported by The New York Times.
In an interview with the NYT, White revealed that the bout would be an exhibition match held outside of official UFC jurisdiction, potentially featuring a charity component.
According to White, “it will be the greatest fight in the history of combat sports”.
Elon Musk got Gladiator fans excited when he suggested the fight could take place in Rome’s historic Colosseum.
“A random fight is happening in the Colosseum,” he tweeted.
However, Italy’s culture ministry refuted a report by TMS Sports, saying there had been no official contact, despite the tantalizing news.
The department further clarified, “If Zuckerberg and Musk wanted to perform at the Colosseum, they should stage a nonviolent challenge.”
Prepare before the battle
Showing intent that the call-up and accepted challenge weren’t taken in jest, Musk recently engaged in a sparring session alongside former UFC champ Georges St-Pierre as he is preparing for a potential fight against Zuckerberg.
During his first training session with St-Pierre, Musk was joined by Lex Fridman. John Danaher, a highly regarded Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach who has coached many world champions, also participated in the session.
Excited about the experience, Fridman took to Twitter and shared, “I had a great workout with Elon Musk, Georges St-Pierre and John Danaher last night. Everything about it was epic!”
Musk responded to the tweet, expressing how much he enjoyed the session and humorously acknowledging the need for additional training. “Really fun! The obvious conclusion is that I need a lot more practice,” he posted.
As Musk continues to prepare for the potential fight, it should be noted that Zuckerberg holds an experience advantage. The Facebook founder took up jiu-jitsu and even won gold and silver medals in his very first tournament.
Earlier, on June 25, Lex Fridman also posted a workout video with Zuckerberg.
Here is a highlight video of Mark Zuckerberg and me training jiu jitsu. I can’t wait to train with @Elon Musk Also. It’s inspiring to watch Elon and Mark embark on the martial arts journey. Watch the full video here: https://t.co/G1ubUuxILK pic.twitter.com/WsLaRiFf1o
— Lex Fridman (@lexfridman) June 25, 2023
Launch of discussions
While things are still rallying and it looks like there could be a potential fight, to the extent of an exhibition match, between the billionaires, Meta has kicked off the launch of Threads, the alleged Twitter lookalike , July 6. Since the launch of Thread, it has become the fastest growing social media platform in terms of downloads and user onboarding.
It’s not that Elon Musk and his team remained silent after the launch.
Twitter issued a warning to Meta threatening to sue the company for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, intellectual property (IP) infringement and data scraping.
Elon Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, relayed the message to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In response to the news, Musk expressed his views, saying, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.” This suggests that whether or not the in-ring action promised by the two happens, a major legal battle could be imminent for sure.