MMA followers need no introduction to Anderson Silva. But for those combat sports fans who only follow boxing, as well as those social media mavens drawn to boxing only by the presence of YouTube personality Jake Paul, Silva, who will face Paul in the ring on October 29, know many things. in Phoenix.
Although Silva is only 3-1 in professional boxing, with the first two fights taking place more than 17 years ago, the 47-year-old Brazilian is one of the greatest fighters in mixed martial arts history. Known as “The Spider,” he reigned as the UFC middleweight champion from 2006 to 2013, racking up a 16-fight winning streak that still stands as the longest in the Octagon. The 2,457-day title reign is also a UFC record.
Among those Silva has defeated are former UFC champions Rich Franklin (twice), Vitor Belfort and Forrest Griffin, along with former Pride and Strikeforce champions Dan Henderson, Demian Maia and Chael Sonnen.
Silva has won a UFC record seven Knockout of the Night awards, five Fight of the Night awards and two Submission of the Night awards. His total of 14 post-fight bonus checks puts him fifth all-time among UFC fighters, behind Donald Cerrone and Charles Oliveira (18 bonuses) and Joe Lauzon and Nate Diaz (15 each).
Silva hasn’t fought in MMA since a TKO in 2020 against Uriah Hall. But he has since relaunched his long-dormant boxing career, making two appearances in the ring, including last year’s win over former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., son of the boxing legend of the same name.
Paul has built his 5-0 boxing career mostly against former MMA stars. After he defeated fellow socialite AnEsonGib in his pro boxing debut in 2020 and then knocked out former NBA player Nate Robinson, Paul went on to KO former Bellator and One Championship titleholder Ben Askren in April 2021. Since then, Paul has defeated the former UFC twice. welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, especially with a KO last December.
Before Woodley’s second fight, Paul had to face his first professional boxer. But the fight against Tommy Fury, the half-brother of champion Tyson Fury, was canceled twice. Paul was later booked against Hasim Rahman Jr., the son of the former heavyweight champion, but that fight was also unsuccessful.
Silva has no knowledge of any of Paul Boxing’s previously scheduled opponents, but he is one of the greatest strikers in MMA history. Even approaching 50 years of age, Silva delivers a level of strength that is far superior to any MMA fighter Paul has faced before.
The bout at the Gila River Arena will be available on Showtime as a pay-per-view.