Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg says he is moving on from a rumoured cage fight with Elon Musk, claiming the Tesla founder “isn’t serious”.
The rival billionaire tech bosses apparently agreed to a brawl in June, when Musk tweeted he was “up for a cage fight”. Zuckerberg, who manages Facebook and Instagram, took a screenshot of Musk’s tweet, replying “send me location”.
However, Zuckerberg on Sunday said on the social media platform Threads: “I think we can all agree Elon isn’t serious and it’s time to move on. I offered a real date. [Ultimate Fighting Championship boss] Dana White offered to make this a legit competition for charity.”
Zuckerberg is trained in mixed martial arts, posting about completing his first jiujitsu tournament earlier this year.
Musk said last week that he was training for the fight by lifting weights. “Don’t have time to work out, so I just bring them to work,” he wrote.
“Elon won’t confirm a date, then says he needs surgery, and now asks to do a practice round in my backyard instead,” Zuckerberg said.
“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.”
Musk, owner of social media platform X, formerly named Twitter, appeared to suggest the fight would be held in an “epic location” in Italy.
Italy’s Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said in a statement that he spoke to Musk about hosting a “large charitable and historically evocative event”.
He did not specify what the event would be or when it might be held, saying only it would not take place in Rome.
Opposition politicians denounced his willingness to let the social media and tech moguls battle it out in Italy.
“I find it simply mind-boggling that the Italian cultural heritage is being made available to two billionaires who want to indulge themselves like foolish teenagers,” said Carlo Calenda, a former industry minister and head of Azione party.
“There are things that simply are not for sale. One of these is the dignity and history of a great nation.”
The animosity between the two tech billionaires’ companies has increased in recent weeks after the July 2023 launch of Threads, a text-based conversation app, by Zuckerberg’s Meta.
Twitter sent a cease-and-desist letter to Zuckerberg after the launch, claiming Meta had made “unlawful misappropriation of Twitter’s trade secrets and other intellectual property”.