AP Technology

Tech billionaires’ cage match? Musk throws down the gauntlet and Zuckerberg accepts challenge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are ready to fight, offline.

In a now-viral back-and-forth seen on Twitter and Instagram this week, the two tech billionaires seemingly agreed to a “cage match” face off.

It all started when Musk, who owns Twitter, responded to a tweet about Meta reportedly preparing to release a new Twitter rival called “Threads.” He took a dig about the world becoming “exclusively under Zuck’s thumb with no other options” — but then one Twitter user jokingly warned Musk of Zuckerberg’s jiu jitsu training.

“I’m up for a cage match if he is lol,” Musk wrote late Tuesday.

Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta Platforms, soon responded — and appeared to agree to Musk’s proposal.

“Send me location,” Zuckerberg wrote on a Wednesday night Instagram story, which showed a screenshot of Musk’s tweet alongside another user’s response urging the Twitter owner to “start training.”

Zuckerberg is actually trained in mixed martial arts. The Facebook founder posted about completing his first jiu jitsu tournament last month.

In response to Zuckerberg’s location request on Wednesday, Musk proposed the Vegas Octagon. He then joked about his fighting skills and workout routine, suggesting that the fight may not be serious.

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

Whether or not Musk and Zuckerberg actually make it to the ring has yet to be seen — especially as Musk often tweets about action prematurely or without following through. But, even if their cage match agreement is all a joke, the banter gained attention. An endless chain of memes and posts to “choose your fighter” have sprung up in response.

“The story speaks for itself,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement to The Associated Press. Zuckerberg has not commented further.

Despite the uncertainity of a cage match actually happening, bids are already being placed for a projected winner. DraftKings’ projected odds stood at 140+ for Musk and -160 for Zuckerberg on Thursday.

The Associated Press also reached out to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which owns the Octagon, and Twitter for statements. Twitter’s press email responded with a poop emoji, its standard automated response to reporters.

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