Pop star Justin Bieber on Sunday inexplicably dared actor Tom Cruise to fight him in mixed-martial arts, prompting much mocking on the internet.
"I wanna challenge Tom Cruise to fight in the octagon," tweeted Bieber, 25, referring to the UFC Octagon, the eight-sided, fenced-in ring used for Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts. "Tom if you dont take this fight your scared and you will never live it down. Who is willing to put on the fight?" he asked, tagging UFC president and CEO Dana White, who has not responded.
Reaction was swift. "You're calling out a 56 year old man lol," tweeted MMA fighter Bobby Nash, to which one commented responded, "A 56 year old man that would kill Bieber in the first minute. I hope this happens and Cruise just breaks his jaw and crushes his windpipe." Cruise, while older and shorter than Bieber, famously trains for and does many of his own highly physical stunts in the "Mission: Impossible" movie franchise.
Filmmaker Kevin Smith tweeted, "You wanna control Cruise in this match? 1) Don't fight him on a couch: he can be bouncy," a reference Cruise's 2005 interview with Oprah Winfrey in which an excited Cruise jumped onto a couch in an expression of love for future wife Katie Holmes. "2) Make sure you're fighting the actual Tom Cruise, because he's king of impossible rubber mask reveals. 3) If he slides into the Octagon in Wayfarers and undies, go for his parents' Porsche," referring to a famous Cruise scene in actor's early hit "Risky Business.”
Some appeared to endorse a potential match. "If Tom Cruise is man enough to accept this challenge, McGregor Sports and Entertainment will host the bout," wrote former UFC champion Conor McGregor. "Does Cruise have the sprouts to fight, like he does in the movies? Stay tuned to find out!"
Bieber has not spoken further. Neither his wife, model Hailey Baldwin Bieber, nor Cruise has not commented on social media, and Cruise's spokeswoman did not respond to a Newsday request for comment.