Last weekend, attendees of the BJJ Tour event in California were surprised to see none other than Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook (now Meta), competing in the Jiu-Jitsu championship.
Representing the Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu team, the white belt Zuckerberg competed in and out the gi, winning medals in both disciplines.
Meeting twice with brown belt Lucas Costa, from Atos, who acted as a referee at the event, Zuckerberg impressed the Brazilian with his heart and knowledge of basic Jiu-Jitsu techniques. While he showed great promise, he was ultimately caught in an Ezequiel and passed out, demonstrating his heart by refusing to tap.
Costa told tatame:
“I refereed two of his matches. The first one he won by 11 to 0, a very impressive score, he applied certain positions with great precision in what he was doing, finishing with a very well placed kimura. In the second match, he was submitted with an ezequiel inside the guard, a position that many people doubt the effectiveness of. He even lost consciousness because he didn’t want to hit…”
“Indeed, the American has already shown that he has a heart. I was very attentive to the move, his eyes were closing, losing strength and when I heard him snoring for the third time, I interpreted it as a ‘verbal tap’. At the time he even asked me what happened, still a little clueless”.
Lucas Costa, who was invited to the event by Felipe Abad, said that he didn’t know about Zuckerberg’s presence until he saw him on the mat. He was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the most influential and intelligent people in the world shared his love for Jiu-Jitsu. Costa went on to praise Zuckerberg’s abilities and predicted that he would go on to become a black belt.
“I didn’t know he was going to compete, he even went under a different name, Elliot, which he usually doesn’t use. Upon realizing it was him, my reaction was one of surprise and satisfaction, for recognizing that one of the most influential and intelligent people on the planet also has a love for the same gentle art as I do. It was exciting to know that all jiu-jiteiros have something in common with a person like him”, said Lucas, who continued:
“He’s got the hang of it, and a lot of it. I believe he will go to black belt. He was humble, firm, excited and with a lot of will to win. Furthermore, it drove the public into a frenzy when they noticed him. It was like the ‘hello’ effect in a stadium. One was warning the other, who warned the other and formed a crowd of people to see him grappling”.
Overall, Zuckerberg’s presence at the event generated excitement and a lot of buzz among the attendees, creating a memorable experience for all who witnessed it.