Anderson Silva is happening. Rumors have been swirling for weeks that negotiations for the fight are still on, but this Tuesday, Paul himself made it official.
“My toughest test yet,” Paul tweeted. “I respect the legend, but it must be destroyed.”
After an impressive career in the UFC, Silva is arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. At least he’s in five. Silva broke several records during his time as middleweight champion, but it was his style of destroying his opponents that made him famous.
“I know everything in life has a purpose,” Silva said in a statement to ESPN. “Nothing happens by chance. So I thank God for my health, my family and my team for giving me this opportunity to do what I love so much. I believe this will be the biggest fight event of the year. It will truly make history in the sport forever.”
When and where does the conflict take place?
Jake Paul vs Anderson Silva is set for October 29. The fight will take place at the Gila River Arena in Phoenix.
Where can I see?
Jake Paul vs Anderson Silva will be available to watch on Showtime PPV. Details are forthcoming, but the PPV event is set to begin at 9 pm ET.
Is there a press conference?
Of course there is. No massive combat sports event can take place without a wild press release. Paul announced not one but two releases in the US next week live on Paul’s YouTube channel.
I don’t expect anything too extreme from these press releases. Silva is a middle-aged man who doesn’t like to trash talk. I expect even Paul to treat Silva with respect and dignity.
Who is Anderson Silva?
As mentioned above, Silva is one of the greatest fighters in UFC history. After defeating Rich Franklin for the UFC middleweight title in October 2006, Silva held that title for a record 2,457 days. His 16-fight undefeated streak in the UFC is a record that stands to this day.
But it was Silva’s fighting style that made him iconic. A flashy, elusive quarterback, he did the impossible. Fighting with his hands down, landing kicks, knees and punches from a wild angle, Silva is basically MMA’s Roy Jones Jr. To many, he is the greatest martial artist of all time.
After finally losing the title to Chris Weidman in 2013, Silva suffered a string of losses, resulting in his retirement from the UFC in 2020 at the ripe old age of 45. In particular, he defeated former world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in an eight-round boxing match.
Who is Jake Paul?
You may know Paul, a social media personality who first made it big on Vine before crossing over to the real world stage. In recent years he moved into boxing after fighting UK YouTuber KSI in a viral boxing match with brother Logan Paul. He showed boxing talent and has been fighting ever since.
Paul moved into the promotion with a huge fight between Ireland’s Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano in one of the greatest women’s boxing matches of all time.
Is this a fair fight?
Paul has been selective about his opponents up to this point, which is smart. Each new fight is a step in the competition, but this one is special for some reasons.
The size is probably the most important. Paul’s other fight to this point was against an impressively underrated fighter. Paul weighs in at 190 pounds, but his last fight in the UFC was against Tyron Woodley, who competed at 170 pounds in his prime.
Silva was the UFC middleweight champion at 185 pounds. Not only that, but he regularly moved up in weight to fight in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. An impressive demolition of former champion Forrest Griffin in 2009 — accomplished in this weight class at 205 pounds.
Unlike Woodley, Silva has previous experience in boxing. More recently, he has turned his attention to the sport, putting together a string of impressive victories. Silva is one of the deadliest strikers in MMA history.
But Silva is 47 years young. That is very old. Ancient in war sports. To be clear, he’s not a normal 47-year-old, but age is still a big, big factor.
I guess we’ll find out just how many reasons why in October.