Home BJJ News Mark Zuckerberg Competes in Jiu Jitsu – Has BJJ Gone Mainstream?

Mark Zuckerberg Competes in Jiu Jitsu – Has BJJ Gone Mainstream?

Mark Zuckerberg Competes in Jiu Jitsu – Has BJJ Gone Mainstream?

It’s 2023, you wake up and hear the news, then immediately feel like you have been seriously lacking in the BJJ department. Mark Zuckerberg has just won a gold and silver medal in a local white belt tournament. 

You heard that right, Zuck, the man half the world can thank for keeping us connected (both good and bad) on his controversial platform Meta, medaled up in a BJJ tournament.

mark zuckerberg competes in no gi bjj - zuckerberg grabs front headlock in BJJ

Not what you expected to hear, is it? But that doesn’t change the fact the man got in there, competed and came out on top. All joking aside, give the guy a round of applause.

The tournament wasn’t without a bit of controversy however. In Zucks first match, it appeared that he lost, then had a heated exchange with the referee who – for whatever reason – overturned the result to a 0-0 draw.

There is, of course, plenty of speculation as to how that may have come to pass with many people taking to Twitter after the results.

They could have a point. Being Meta blocked wouldn’t be the desired result for a lot of people. Aside from the weird beginning though, Zuck actually looked pretty good in there. So let’s not take that away from the man just because he happens to carry a big stick.

So with this news, let’s take a look at white belt tournaments and what it takes to win them.

White BJJ Belts – Tournament Preparation

mark zuckerberg wins his first BJJ tournament at white belt - tweet about mark zuckerberg jiu jitsu tournament

It might come as a surprise to some of you out there with white BJJ belts around your waist that there are tournaments at the white belt level. I know it did for me when I first started out. I thought you would need to belt up in your gym and only then could you compete.

Luckily enough, the BJJ belt system and unified rules allow for white belts to compete – otherwise we would never have witnessed the glory of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s fastest rising star, the Zuckmaster, over the last weekend.

So what exactly does it take for white belts to be ready for their first tournament? I’m not sure of the details on how Gorilla prepared the Zuck for this one, but typically it takes between six months and two years to be ready as a white belt. BJJ is different for everyone of course.

Who knows, maybe Zuck is a born natural and it only took a few months to prepare. However, it is probably more likely that he spent over a year in the gym to win a gold medal in his first tournament.

If it wasn’t for the slightly odd overturning of the first match, there would be little doubt out there aside from your run of the mill conspiracy theories about the outcome.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Belts – Belting Up

When it comes to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu belts, white belts will typically belt up to blue within the first two years. So don’t be surprised if we see a lot more of the Zuckmonster in higher level tournaments with a blue BJJ belt wrapped around his waist.

If you really think about it, this story is pretty inspirational. What gift do you give to the man who has everything? Apparently you lure him into the gym with the prospect of belts. BJJ has long been seen as the martial art of self discovery.

I for one feel a bit more at peace knowing that one of the world’s richest and most powerful humans is in there rolling with white belts. The majority of traits it takes to be successful on the level Mark Zuckerberg has been in his world will get you nowhere on the mat – save for competitive nature and determination of course.

Zuck vs Musk

One of the first things to come out of this on Twitter is the call for Elon Musk to take on Mark Zuckerberg in an BJJ exhibition match. 

As awesome as that may sound, they aren’t near the same weight class unfortunately and it’s unclear whether Musk is among the white belts out there. So unfortunately the Facebook vs Twitter battle will likely remain online – for now.

The world will have to settle for Zuck taking on regular competitors for the time being unless he wants to bulk up 20 lbs and give up a serious reach advantage. It would certainly be interesting to see him grapple his way through the Jiu Jitsu belt colors and take on some serious competition in the process though.

Matches to Make for Zuckerberg

I know, all of these are unlikely and the scenarios are ridiculous, but let’s give the guy the full treatment like we would any other rising star in BJJ.

Mark Zuckerberg VS Jonah Hill

Now this would be an absolute blockbuster of a match with both men being white belts in BJJ. Imagine the amount of publicity this exhibition would draw. Put it on for charity and no matter the outcome, Zuck comes out looking like a diamond and looks more human for once.

Hill would certainly have a lot of people out there cheering for him to topple the world’s biggest social media mogul. Imagine the memes coming out of this match? Legendary.

Mark Zuckerberg VS Ashton Kutcher

This would only take place for the world to watch Zuck get rag dolled around considering Ashton is a brown belt under Rigan Machado. But the world would love to see this one down the line if Zuck can make his way out of the white belts.


It takes a lot of eating humble pie to truly become a serious Jiu Jitsu practitioner and ultimately, BJJ black belt. So let’s hope that ol’ Zuck is serious about his Jits. If he is, we will likely see a very different CEO of the world’s most powerful information engine.

It will be interesting to see if Zuckerberg stays focused, graduates from the white belts and keeps climbing the ranks. How will his approach to life change? To his company? To the world… It will definitely be interesting to see the outcome. All in all, hat’s off to Mark for getting in there and putting it on the line.

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Jordan Fernandez, BA, CSCS, CPT. Jordan is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt under Aaron Botello at <a rel="nofollow">Sonoran Brazilian Jiu Jitsu</a>, Certified Personal Trainer through the <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nasm.org/become-a-personal-trainer">National Academy of Sports Medicine</a>, and recreational BJJ competitor. Jordan serves as a board member for the <a rel="nofollow" href="https://traineracademy.org/cpt/home">Trainer Academy Certified Personal Trainer</a> program, assisting with curriculum development and vetting to ensure certified trainers enter the industry with the requisite knowledge and skills to safely and effectively coach clients towards improved health outcomes. Jordan lives in Tucson Arizona where he coaches clients for strength and fitness and runs <a rel="nofollow">Dynamic SEO</a>, a small digital marketing agency for local businesses.