Maybe MMA fanatic isn’t the first thing that comes to the average person’s mind when thinking of Mark Zuckerberg, but it appears to be a true categorization for the Facebook co-founder.
In a video posted Saturday on his Instagram page, Zuckerberg showed off his striking and grappling skills with a caption that wished luck to pro MMA fighter.
Khai Wu (6-3), who is set to compete at Urijah Faber’s A1 Combat 5 later in the day. Zuckerberg called Wu one of his training partners.
One glance at Zuckberg’s Instagram shows 476 accounts he follows on the social media platform, dozens are MMA fighters and promotions. It’s not just the big names he follows either.
A wide range of figures from Bellator bantamweight Danny Sabatello, to rising UFC prospect Yazmin Jauregui, to muay thai world champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.
Zuckerberg, 38, became passionate about mixed martial arts during the COVID-19 pandemic, he revealed on a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Instantly, he fell in love.
“I basically collected a bunch of recommendations, ran them by a bunch of people that I know,” Zuckerberg said. “I ended up training with this guy Dave Camarillo, (of) Gorilla Jiu Jitsu. He’s awesome, super nice guy. I feel like I’m learning a ton.
“The crazy thing is I don’t know. It really is the best sport. The question isn’t, ‘How did I get into it?’
It’s, ‘How did I not know about it until just now?’ From the very first session that I did, like five minutes in, I was like, ‘Where has this been my whole life?’ All right.
My mom made me do three varsity sports and my life took a wrong turn when I chose to do fencing competitively instead of wrestling in high school or something.”
Not only is Zuckerberg practicing and watching martial arts, but he’s also trying to spread the word to others.
He said he’s recruited a number of friends to train with the success rate impeccable.
“There’s just something that’s so primal about it,” Zuckerberg said. “I don’t know. Since then, I’ve just introduced a bunch of my friends to it. That’s been really fun, because now it’s like we train together and wrestle together.
There’s a certain intensity to it that I like. Maybe there’s this cultural thing where a lot of people haven’t considered it. I’ve had 100 percent hit rate of introducing friends to it and converting them to people who now train.
Every single person who I’ve shown it to is like, ‘This is amazing. This is obviously how I should be training and working out.’”
In addition to his recent training video and expression of combat sports love on Rogan’s podcast, Zuckerberg met UFC president Dana White for dinner in late June. It’s unclear if the meeting was formal or informal, but White indicated in multiple interviews he was aware of Zuckerberg’s fandom.