8:02 AM PT -- 6/30 -- The Ministry of Culture's Office issued a statement saying, "There has been no formal contact from the ministry nor any written document, even if the news appears tasty it is unfounded." Sources with direct knowledge confirm again ... the Ministry first reached out to Mark Zuckerberg, then the request was forwarded to Dana White, and there was a follow-up and a call was set for next week. The Ministry added, "If Zuckerberg and Musk wanted to perform in the Colosseum they would have to make a non-violent challenge." Our sources are scoffing at this, saying the Ministry reached out BECAUSE of the fight challenge.
That's why Elon coyly mentioned the Colosseum in a tweet last night.
This will blow your mind -- an official from the government of Italy contacted Mark Zuckerberg about staging a UFC fight against Elon Musk at the most legendary battleground in the world ... Rome's Colosseum ... TMZ Sports has learned.
Sources with direct knowledge tell us ... the Minister of Culture reached out to Zuckerberg a few days ago about staging what could be the biggest fight in the history of the world in the most fabled fight theater in history.
As for the venue itself -- one of the 7 Wonders of the World -- there have not been large events held inside the nearly 2,000-year-old amphitheater in hundreds of years, and only a few hundred spectators can be seated in temporary seating within the theater.
Sir Paul McCartney performed inside the Colosseum in 2003 for an exclusive charity show before 400 people who paid up to $1,500 -- but other than that, all other concerts have been held just outside the structure.
It's unclear where a Musk vs. Zuck fight would go down -- inside or outside.
Multiple sources with direct knowledge tell us if you're gonna bet on whether this fight goes down ... wager that it's happening. We're told both Musk and Zuck are "all in," and have been negotiating with Dana about the details of a fight daily ... multiple times each day for more than a week.
The biggest obstacle is height and weight disparity, although both men have no issue with it. The question ... if the fight were to go down in Vegas -- which was the goal until the Colosseum offer surfaced -- the Nevada Athletic Commission would have to sign off. Given that Zuck is 5'7" and weighs 145, and Elon towers over him at 6'2" and weighs 230, it's a little problematic. Nevertheless, this would be an exhibition fight, so the rules might bend.
Now that Italy is interested, it opens up so many more possibilities.