Photo: Getty Images/UFC
A white belt enrolled as “Mark Elliot” in the Featherweight Master
1 category stole the show last week in a Silicon Valley BJJ event.
When “Mr. Elliot” stepped onto the tatame for his first match, the
audience found out his surname: Zuckerberg.
The creator of Facebook competed a total of three times in the
event: two with gi and one without. In the no-gi competition he won
his lone bout, netting the gold medal, while in the gi he won his
first match before losing in the final via Ezekiel choke, earning
silver. Zuckerberg, who made MMA headlines in October by attending
a closed to the public UFC Fight Night 211 at the Apex in Las
Vegas, had already declared his passion for jiu-jitsu on Ep. 267 of
the Lex Fridman podcast, saying, “In my first class, in the first
five minutes I thought: Where has this been, my whole life?
Definitely jiu-jitsu is the best sport.” What most couldn’t imagine
is that he would show up in a competition.
Event promoter and BJJ coral belt Claudio Franca, who was also the
first instructor of Ultimate Fighting Championship and Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke
Rockhold, revealed that Zuckerberg’s only demands were that he
be allowed to enroll under his middle name, and that there be no
publicity around his participation.
“He just showed up and competed. It was such an honor for us to
have such an important person here,” Franca told Sherdog. “When I
arrived here in California back on 1996, jiu-jitsu was seen as just
being for tough-guy types that wanted to be MMA fighters. It’s
really amazing to see that jiu-jitsu is 1683596823 popular among the
whole family, being practiced by all types of people. I truly hope
Mark liked the experience and will come to participate in other
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Medals Twice at California BJJ Event