Musk vs. Zuck Has Options as Italian Government Offers Up Roman Colosseum

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg can now hold their planned fight on the ancient stage built for real gladiators

Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk (Photo credit: Getty Images)

The Italian government is reportedly giving a thumbs up to the planned mogul match of the century: it’s invited Elon Musk to fight Mark Zuckerberg at the Colosseum in Rome.

“Some chance fight happens in Collosseum,” Musk tweeted early Friday morning. He added a video of the Colosseum fight from the Monty Python movie “Life of Brian,” with the quip, “Need to work on my endurance.”

The post came after the government of Italy contacted Zuckerberg with an invite to the legendary battleground, TMZ Sports reported.

Both the Italian Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano and the ministry itself are on Twitter, but neither have posted about any discussions taking place that would pit the two high-profile CEOs against each other in the ancient amphitheater.

The invite comes after Musk, the owner of Twitter and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, agreed last week to fight Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook and Instagram parent Meta Platforms, last week.

Musk was responding to a fan tweeting about Meta’s plans to release a rival to the social media site he purchased in October for $44 million. “I’m up for a cage match if he is lol,” Musk posted.

Later in the day, Zuckerberg replied in an Instagram story: “Send Me Location.”

Musk responded, “Vegas Octagon,” referencing the UFC’s premiere competition space.

UFC president Dana White later said he had spoken with the two billionaires, and “both guys are absolutely dead serious about this” and speculated the price for watching the match could reach $100 per pay-per-view. He noted that Zuckerberg has been involved in jiu-jitsu competitions in recent years, while Musk practices martial arts, speculating the two could actually pull off an entertaining fight.

TMZ reported that Zuckerberg passed on the message from Italy to White, who then contacted Sangiuliano. They are in talks about staging the event, the report said.

Holding the match overseas could be one way to get around what may be a big issue under Nevada laws, TMZ noted: the size disparity between the two. Zuckerberg is 5-foot-7 and weighs 145 pounds, compared with Musk’s 6-2, 230-pound frame.

The Colosseum, which opened in 80 AD and is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was originally used to host gladiatorial matches, animal hunts and other events, even simulated sea battles. It underwent a major restoration about 10 years ago, and reopened to events in 2016, with the cultural minister at the time aiming more toward theater and other cultural performances than a return to the gladitorial days. Those plans were stymied in part by the pandemic.

In 2021, the attraction signed on engineers from Milan to add a retractable floor that could act as a stage for performances and shows. It’s been without a complete floor since the 19th century.