Elon Musk versus Mark Zuckerberg: When Did It Start?

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are undeniably two tech giants with billions of net worth. As Meta’s CEO, Zuckerberg has a net worth of US$103 billion. The Space X, Tesla, and Twitter owner, Musk, is worth US$245.9 billion as of 2023. But with so much business they both have to manage, how did these two billionaires end up being set for a cage fight?

While the cage match is still in talks, and we’re not sure if it will happen, we’re as curious as you why these tech billionaires are in such a feud. With that said, read on as we’ve looked into why Musk and Zuckerberg’s relationship turned out bad and when it actually started.

Developing Feud

Back in 2014, Zuckerberg invited Musk to visit his home, convincing the latter that he was too pessimist about the safety of artificial intelligence. Instead of simply declining, Musk said that Facebook gives him willies and Instagram causes depression in people, both under Meta Platforms.

In 2016, Facebook had a contract wherein SpaceX should provide internet access to sub-Saharan Africa on their behalf. However, the rocket exploded, which made the tension between Zuckerberg and Musk worse. In a 2017 Facebook Live, Musk said that Zuckerberg has a “pretty limited” understanding of AI.

But what’s even worst? Musk resorted to deleting Tesla and SpaceX Facebook pages. In the 2020 Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the two competed for third place. But Musk surpassed Zuckerberg, thanks to his shares in Tesla. 

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg competed for the first time in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament in May 2023, claiming he had reportedly won several competitions. Then, on June 21, 2023, Musk reacted to a tweet, claiming that Meta’s CEO will soon launch a Twitter alternative called Threads

Another Twitter user jokingly said that Zuckerberg does jiu-jitsu now. Musk replied, “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol.” In October 2022, Musk took over Twitter and repeatedly provoked Zuckerberg with unnecessary and nasty comments.

With the launch of the Twitter rival, Threads, on July 6, 2023, the feud between Musk and Zuckerberg may have finally reached its limit. Musk’s lawyer has sent a cease and desist letter to Zuckerberg and threatened to sue Meta for launching Threads.

The Cage Match

A day after Musk challenged Zuckerberg in a cage match, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president, Dana White, got a text from Meta’s chief executive. In the text, he asked Dana, who supervises the mixed martial arts competition, if Musk was serious about the cage fight.

Dana called Musk and confirmed he’s willing to do the cage match. Then, Dana relayed the message to Zuckerberg, and Meta’s CEO responded thru an Instagram post saying, “Send Me Location.” – a famous catchphrase from the undefeated UFC champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.

After that, Dana talked to the tech billionaires, so they can organize the exhibition match, as they were both up for it. While a cage match between the two richest men in the world is unlikely, Musk and Zuckerberg have negotiated with their advisers, and both even agreed to include a charity component.

The preferred location for the exhibition match is in Las Vegas. Musk even tweeted that it could also take place in the Roman Colosseum. Nonetheless, there’s no guarantee that the cage match between 52-year-old Musk and 39-year-old Zuckerberg will ever happen.