Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
File photo: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Image Credit: AP

Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc., threw cold water on claims by Elon Musk that the two billionaires are working out plans for a cage match in Rome.

"I love this sport and I've been ready to fight since the day Elon challenged me," Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Meta's Threads blogging site. "If he ever agrees on an actual date, you'll hear it from me. Until then, please assume anything he says has not been agreed on."

Zuckerberg, a martial arts enthusiast, was responding to an earlier Musk post that purported to give specifics on the much-anticipated CEO duel. Musk wrote that the fight would be overseen by his and Zuckerberg's respective foundations, as opposed to a professional organization like the UFC. According to Musk's post, the fight would be livestreamed on both Meta and X, the platform formerly known as Twitter that he owns.

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"Everything in camera frame will be ancient Rome, so nothing modern at all," Musk wrote. "I spoke to the PM of Italy and Minister of Culture. They have agreed on an epic location." Italy's culture minister confirmed that he spoke with Musk about an event.

Musk also wrote that all proceeds from the fight would "go to veterans," though he didn't specify a particular foundation or organization.

The competition between Musk, 52, and Zuckerberg, 39, has intensified since the July launch of Meta's Threads, designed as a direct rival to X. Threads reached 100 million users less than a week after its launch, benefiting from Meta's immense reach.

Musk, the world's richest person, first challenged Zuckerberg to the fight in late June. The Meta chief responded by asking for the location to meet, but Musk health issues have added a wrinkle.

On August 6, Musk posted that he would receive an MRI of his neck and upper back. Then on Friday, the billionaire said he had a problem with his shoulder blade that might require minor surgery. "Recovery will only take a few months," Musk said.