He may be among the richest people on the planet but not even Mark Zuckerberg is immune to injury.
The Meta boss has been training for an MMA fight – potentially against Elon Musk – but he’s been sidelined after a training mishap.
Here’s what we know:
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On Friday, Zuckerberg took to social media to reveal he’d ruptured his ACL and undergone surgery.
Along with some pictures of him in a hospital bed, the 39-year-old wrote to his followers:
“Tore my ACL sparring and just got out of surgery to replace it,” he said.
“Grateful for the doctors and team taking care of me.”
Zuckerberg added that he had been lining up a fight in 2024 and, despite the setback, he’s still keen on throwing down at some stage.
“I was training for a competitive MMA fight early next year, but now that’s delayed a bit,” he added.
“Still looking forward to doing it after I recover.
“Thanks to everyone for the love and support.”
Depending on who you ask, Zuckerberg’s injury doesn’t mean anything for the potential fight with Musk as it wasn’t going to happen anyway.
The chances of two of the richest men on earth getting locked in a cage together always seemed low and this injury to Zuckerberg certainly won’t help.
Typical recovery time from ACL reconstruction these days ranges from six to nine months, further delaying any potential billionaire beatdown.
Musk and Zuckerberg are known for their long-running rivalry over their various businesses and projects, and the idea of settling their differences physically first arose when Musk mentioned a “cage match” in June 2023.
Zuckerberg told Musk to “send me location” – a phrase made famous by former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who used it to state his readiness to fight.
The acrimony has been ramped up by Meta’s creation of Threads, which is designed as a direct challenge to Musk’s X.
There had been talk of UFC boss Dana White being involved in organising the fight. But in an update on August 11 on X, Musk said the event would be managed by his and Zuckerberg’s foundations rather than the MMA promotion. “Livestream will be on this platform and Meta,” he added.
Later, Musk said the fight may be months away due to required surgery. On the weekend of August 12, he discussed the idea of the two sparring one another in a training session.
Zuckerberg responded by saying, “I think we can all agree Elon isn’t serious and it’s time to move on. I offered a real date. Dana White offered to make this a legit competition for charity. Elon won’t confirm a date, then says he needs surgery, and now asks to do a practice round in my backyard instead. 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.”
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As of now, the fight appears to be off, if it ever was going to happen in the first place.
Perhaps the most pressing question around the abilities of the would-be adversaries is whether Musk can catch up with Zuckerberg’s relatively deep experience in MMA.
Zuckerberg collected two medals at a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament held at a Silicon Valley high school in California earlier in 2023, he said on Facebook.
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Two-time UFC champion Conor McGregor was among those to respond to the post, and Zuckerberg has also posted a topless photo of himself training with MMA champions Israel Adesanya and Alex Volkanovski.
In August, Musk stepped up his preparations by taking part in a training session with revered former UFC fighter and Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre in a session he said had been “fun” but highlighted his need to train.
Musk has also said on X that he “may require surgery” before the fight can happen, having had an MRI scan on his neck and upper back.
Zuckerberg is the younger man, at 39, while Musk is a veteran by comparison, having celebrated his 52nd birthday in June.
Describing the experience of watching Zuckerberg compete, his trainer, Kai Wu, said it was “pretty epic”. “No match was easy,” he said.
“Everything was earned. It was an honour to be able to help coach and offer any advice I could.”
Musk is widely reported to be the richest man in the world, with financial site Forbes putting his net worth at $225.1 billion in August 2023.
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His best-known companies before he bought X were electric car maker Tesla, rocket producer SpaceX, and startup Boring Company.