Musk Chickens Out of Zuckerberg Cage Fight, Now Wants ‘Noble’ Debate

Musk Chickens Out of Zuckerberg Cage Fight, Now Wants 'Noble' Debate

Update 21:53 BST, Fri Aug. 11, 2023 – Elon Musk has now revealed that the much-touted fight between him and Mark Zuckerberg will be held in Italy at a date to be announced. In a series of tweets, Musk said he talked to Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano about the fight and its location. The match will be streamed live on both X and Meta, he added.

Earlier, Musk appeared to have backed down from his planned UFC-style cage fight with Zuckerberg. Instead, he seemed to favor a “noble” debate with his fellow tech billionaire.

The feud began when Musk challenged Zuckerberg to a ‘cage match’ in June and the Meta founder accepted. Musk was reacting to reports that Zuckerberg was launching a Twitter rival, Threads. Ever since, the duo has been trading barbs online as a build-up to the fight.

‘Cage match debate’

Now Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO who also owns Twitter, has other ideas about engaging in a physical confrontation. On Aug. 8, British-American businessman Chris Anderson suggested having a “no holds barred cage match debate” between the two feuding billionaires.

“Here’s a better idea: a cage match debate ‘How to Build an Amazing Future,'” Anderson, who heads the ideas-based nonprofit TED, wrote on X, the new name for Twitter.

Musk was immediately sold on the idea. Or so it seems. “That sounds like a good idea too,” he replied. “This is really fighting as (I believe) a noble sport. We also hope, with humility, to express our admiration for those who have fought before for noble causes.”

The SpaceX CEO started showing doubts about the match on the weekend of August 4 to 6. On Sunday, Aug. 6, Musk tweeted that he was getting an “MRI of my neck and upper back tomorrow [Monday]. May require surgery before the fight can happen. Will know this week.”

Earlier, Musk’s opponent, Mark Zuckerberg, revealed he was not very optimistic that the proposed cage fight would take place. “I’m ready today. I suggested Aug. 26 when he first challenged, but he hasn’t confirmed. Not holding my breath,” the Meta chief said.

Mamma’s boy

Chris Anderson’s suggestion that Elon and Zuckerberg have a debate in place of a cage fight is similar to what Musk’s mother Maye Musk previously suggested, Business Insider reports.

Also read: Zuckerberg Ridicules X, Says Not ‘Holding His Breath’ Over Musk Fight

After the two billionaires agreed to the bout in June, Maye tweeted that Elon and Zuckerberg should “fight with words only” instead of trading physical blows.

“A verbal fight only. Three questions each. The funniest answers win. Who agrees?” Maye tweeted.

Elon initially ignored the advice, but he now appears to agree with his mother. With odds giving Zuckerberg – a practitioner of jiu-jitsu martial art – a 77% chance of winning the fight, reality may have hit home for Musk.

“If the fight is short, I probably win. If long, he may win on endurance,” Musk said earlier this week.

In his tweet, Anderson tagged Mark Zuckerberg asking whether he would be agreeable to a “cage match debate” but the Facebook founder did not respond.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.