Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg: Analyzing Betting Odds That May Never Be
For something that started as a petty remark on Twitter and still sounds like a bad “Saturday Night Live” sketch, the idea of a fight between Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter / Tesla honcho Elon Musk is proving to be a stubbornly resilient one. It’s captured the imaginations of so many people, in fact, that some sportsbooks have even released sports betting odds on Musk vs. Zuckerberg. Odds that are, at this point, a purely theoretical fight between two middle-aged businessmen with zero pro fights between them.
Below, we’ll dive into what the betting odds look like and what the early action has to say about where bettor interest lies. We’ll also take a closer look at which man might actually know what he’s doing when it comes to the martial arts – and which is more likely to be faking it for attention.
Hypothetical Musk vs. Zuckerberg Odds
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How Did This Idea Happen?
It all started with a tweet. After Musk took a swipe at the Meta CEO on Twitter, one user replied with a suggestion that Musk be wary of Zuckerberg’s martial arts skills. “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol,” Musk retorted. Shortly thereafter, Zuckerberg responded with a reference to former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov as he wrote “send me location.” Musk suggested “Vegas Octagon,” as an apparent reference to the UFC, and that was all it took for UFC president Dana White to get involved.
White later claimed that he’d spoken with both Musk and Zuckerberg and they were “absolutely dead serious” about going through with the bout, which White was eager to promote in the UFC.
Sportsbooks Jump At Chance To Set Theoretical Odds
Right away, DraftKings Sportsbook on the idea, setting a hypothetical opening line that had Zuckerberg as a -160 favorite, with Musk the underdog at +140 odds. Later odds, such as those released by FanDuel, reportedly had Zuckerberg as a much higher -440 favorite, with Musk as a +290 underdog.
ZUCKERBERG’S EXPERIENCE EDGE
It makes sense that odds would tilt in Zuckerberg’s favor, especially after recent videos showing his success at a California jiu-jitsu tournament where he took gold in the 149-pound class of the “master’s division” (a nice term for athletes over 30) at the white belt or novice level.
Zuckerberg, 39, has trained in jiu-jitsu for about a year. He’s coached primarily by Dave Camarillo, a respected jiu-jitsu specialist who worked with top MMA fighters and UFC champs during his time as a head coach with the American Kickboxing Academy.
Musk, 51, doesn’t have much in the way of verifiable martial arts experience. He’s claimed in the past that he’d studied judo, karate, and taekwondo, and has also suggested that he’s at least dabbled somewhat in jiu-jitsu. But there’s a big difference between that and a year’s worth of consistent study in submission grappling, not to mention some competition experience.
While Musk has been seen in recent days getting some training in with jiu-jitsu black belt Lex Fridman, and has received further coaching offers from people like former UFC champ Georges St-Pierre, it would take a lot more than occasional photo ops on the mats to catch up to Zuckerberg’s level of experience. White belt may be the beginning point for jiu-jitsu practitioners, with most graduating to blue belt in about a year, but that first year of study in the discipline represents a huge jump from the starting point of absolute zero. Having one year’s worth of jiu-jitsu is a long way from having a few isolated lessons here and there.
One thing Musk might have going for him is size. Zuckerberg is listed at about five-foot seven inches, and is said to be somewhere in the 150-pound range. Musk is a shade over six feet tall, and considerably heavier. (A recent FOX News graphic listed his weight as 187 pounds, which seems … doubtful.)
Musk is also over a decade older, and it tends to be the decade in which most men begin to experience a physical decline. Zuckerberg has been known to participate in intense fitness challenges, such as the CrossFit “Murph” workout. (As anyone who’s tried it can tell you, a one-mile run, followed by 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, capped off by another one-mile run, is no joke.)
Still, some offshore sportsbooks have claimed publicly that the early betting action they’ve seen on the hypothetical fight has been heavily tilted toward Musk. Some of that could be people who can’t resist an underdog line, but it’s probably also due to Musk’s popularity in certain circles. He’s the far more visible and, at least on social media, accessible of the two. In terms of online fanbase, Musk likely has a lot more support than Zuckerberg, which could influence the betting action.
Then again, popularity and fan support rarely win fights. If the day ever does come where Musk and Zuckerberg lock themselves in a cage together, a little jiu-jitsu will probably end up being far more valuable than a lot of fans.