Musk wants 'noble' debate with Zuckerberg not cage fight

The Tesla CEO has been warming up to the idea first suggested by his mother Maye and then TED curator Chris Anderson.
Ameya Paleja
Musk and Zuckerberg could get into a war of words next
Musk and Zuckerberg could get into a war of words next

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Months after proposing a cage fight, Elon Musk, the world's richest person, wants to engage in a 'noble' debate with Mark Zuckerberg, Business Insider reported. The duo have been suggesting a no-holds-barred cage match-up at Vegas Octagon but have not agreed on a date yet.

On X, formerly Twitter, Musk has showcased how he has prepared for the fight without committing to a particular date. On the other hand, Zuckerberg, who is a known mixed-martial arts (MMA) practitioner, has been egging Musk to commit to a date on his text-based social media platform Threads.

As days turned to months, it was apparent that both tech tycoons were enjoying free publicity for their platforms by talking about the fight. When people were almost bored with the back and forth, Musk announced that the event would be live-streamed on X, suggesting it was closer to happening.

Shortly after that, Musk further delayed it by claiming he might need surgery before the showdown.

A debate instead of a fight

Now in a rapid turn of events, Musk is warming up to engaging in a debate with Zuckerberg instead of a cage fight. Interestingly, this was suggested by Elon's mother, Maye, back in June, but the Tesla CEO kept the fire about the cage fight burning.

Earlier this week, Chris Anderson, known for curating TED talks, took to X to suggest something similar and even listed a few people as moderators for the debate.

Musk welcomed the idea and replied that debate was a "noble sport". Interestingly, the tweet, which has not yet received 500,000 views, did not tag Musk or Zuckerberg.

Does a debate favor Musk?

Musk's softening to the idea of a debate is a contradictory shift from his previous stance, where he justified a fight.

While we do not know why Musk needs surgery, his odds against Zuckerberg, by his acceptance, were low. Earlier this week, Musk pondered on X the outcomes depending on the length of the bout.

It would hardly be a surprise to know that Musk considers himself intellectually far superior to Zuckerberg. He has been quite vocal in his criticism of the Meta CEO's views on artificial intelligence (AI) years before ChatGPT was even launched.

A debate between the two would primarily be about technology topics, where Musk has the upper hand as the CEO of a diverse set of companies such as SpaceX and Tesla. Zuckerberg has very little to show in areas other than social media, with his recent attempt to drum up interest in the metaverse also receiving a tepid response.

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