Mark Zuckerberg may have put his talk of a showdown with Tesla’s Elon Musk to rest, but his fervor for mixed martial arts remains unwavering.
On a recent Monday, Zuckerberg took to Instagram to share a photo of himself sporting two black eyes, evidence of a training session that pushed the limits. The image depicted a battle-worn Zuckerberg, a stark contrast to his usual public persona. With a touch of humor, he captioned the post, “Sparring got a little out of hand. May need to update my avatar.” This lighthearted comment garnered over 500,000 likes on the very platform he co-founded.
The MMA community also chimed in. Former ONE Championship middleweight and light heavyweight titleholder Aung La Nsang offered a friendly jab, saying, “Might need to keep your hands up Mark.” Will Gomis, a rising star in the UFC with a 3-0 record since joining last year, added, “What does not kill you makes you stronger.”
These bumps and bruises aren’t enough to deter Zuckerberg from his newfound passion. The 39-year-old tech mogul discovered MMA during the COVID-19 lockdown. Intrigued, he delved into various martial arts disciplines and eventually tested his skills at a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament in California earlier this year. Surprisingly, Zuckerberg emerged from his first competition with two medals, demonstrating his dedication and rapid progress.
But there’s more to this story. Joel Bauman, known as ‘King Bau’ in MMA circles, is a 32-year-old fighter with a professional record of 7-3. He has competed in prestigious organizations like LFA and Bellator MMA. Recently, at the Gamebred Bareknuckle 5 event, he secured a second-round TKO victory against Maki Pitolo in the co-main event, further solidifying his reputation.
Post-victory, Bauman took an unexpected turn by challenging some of the biggest names in the combat sports industry. His list of prospective opponents includes not only Mark Zuckerberg but also the Paul brothers, Jake and Logan, who have made their mark in combat sports after transitioning from social media stardom.
During a post-fight interview, Bauman directly addressed Mark Zuckerberg, playfully labeling himself the “Shadowban god.” His frustration stemmed from perceived censorship and suppression on Zuckerberg’s social media platform, Instagram. Bauman criticized Instagram for hosting content that clashed with his values and principles.
Intriguingly, Mark Zuckerberg’s own MMA journey began a year ago, providing an unexpected twist to this story. He turned to martial arts as a means of focus and stress relief, given the barrage of daily challenges he faces in the tech world. For him, martial arts offer a mental reset, a way to shake off the stress and stay productive.
In an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience, Zuckerberg explained his approach, highlighting the need to disconnect from the constant stream of information and find moments of physical activity to reset and refocus. It’s a practice that allows him to navigate the ever-demanding tech landscape more effectively.
Mark Zuckerberg’s journey into MMA serves as a reminder that even tech giants seek solace and balance through unconventional pursuits, and that the world of mixed martial arts continues to captivate individuals from diverse backgrounds.