Mark Zuckerberg has denied allegations that he was choked out during a Jiu-Jitsu tournament he participated in last month.
The CEO of Meta took part in his first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament in Redwood City, California, on May 6, where he achieved both gold and silver medals.
During one of his fights, the match was halted early, as the referee claimed to have heard Zuckerberg snore, which typically indicates unconsciousness. You can watch a clip of the fight here:
In an interview with The New York Times, referee and experienced fighter José Lucas Costa da Silva stated: "This is something we are trained to know."
He further commented that Zuckerberg displayed sportsmanship and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the experience.
However, Zuckerberg and his coach, Dave Camarillo, have since challenged the allegations, saying that the sounds heard were actually grunts, not snores.
In a direct email response to the publication, Zuckerberg stated: "That never happened."
In an official statement provided to the Daily Mail, Meta expressed: "At no point during the competition was Mark knocked unconscious. That never happened."
Following the incident, a company representative stated that the referee had extended apologies to both Mark and his coach for ending the match too early.
In the video, it is evident that Zuckerberg is visibly frustrated when the fight is stopped abruptly, and he engages in a brief conversation with the ref.
Afterward, Zuckerberg embraced his opponent and clasped hands with him, seemingly wanting people to know that everything was alright between them.
Following the competition, Zuckerberg took to Instagram, showcasing some of his moves and captioning the post with the following message:
"Competed in my first jiu-jitsu tournament and won some medals for the Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu team. Thanks to @davecamarillo @khaiwu @intense0ne for training me!"
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Zuckerberg shared that he developed an interest in martial arts.
In an interview with Joe Rogan, Zuckerberg mentioned: "I really like watching UFC for example, but I also like doing the sport."
"There's something so primal about it, I don't know."
"Since then I've just introduced a bunch of my friends to it. We train together, and we like, wrestle together, and there's a certain intensity to it that I like."
According to the Facebook founder, engaging in training was "really important" as it played an important role in helping him keep his focus.
"It's because I have a connection to it," he explained.
"Since Covid, I got super into surfing and foiling, and then really into MMA. I know a lot of people who do it."
"MMA is like the perfect thing because it's like, if you stop paying attention for one second, you're gonna end up on the bottom."