Anderson will compete in a boxing match against Jake Paul on Saturday night and the legendary MMA fighter has brought about concerns about his health heading into the bout after claiming in a pre-fight interview that he’d been KO’d twice in his last sparring session.
“I’m training hard for win — I’m training with the good boxers, high-level, and five guys come to help me,” Silva told MMAWeekly. “And the last sparring with [my sparring partner], he is knocked me out two times, and when I finish my training, I talked to my coach and even said, ‘Coach, let me tell you something, why the guys knock me out two times?’ And the coach said, ‘You need to prepare for war, and you prepare for war.’”
English isn’t Silva’s first language, so the general feeling is that he likely misspoke and instead meant that he’d been knocked down twice rather than been KO’d, and indeed his coach Luiz Carlos Dorea has attempted to brush aside his fighter’s claims that he’d been knocked out.
“What I can say is that didn’t happen,” Dorea stated. “Thank God we follow all the steps in training and Anderson did excellent sparring [sessions]. He’s 100 percent for the fight.”
Silva’s statement certainly raises red flags though and the powers at be that oversee the Arizona state’s boxing commission have since noted that, “We are looking into the matter and have no further comment at this time.”
While some who are not familiar with Silva may claim that this is all just gamesmanship ahead of the big fight, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time that his claims to have been knocked out in training prior to a blockbuster bout have proven to be true.
Prior to his fight with Nick Diaz at UFC 283 in 2015, Silva stated that his training partner Khalil Rountree had KO’d him with a head kick while preparing for the fight.
Rountree then confirmed that it had occurred, stating that, “I know a lot of people get knocked out in training and simply don’t say, but he’s an honest guy. It happened in training but not in the fight, so it doesn’t matter.”
However, the manager of both fighters at the time, Ed Soares, then went on to claim that Silva hold only been knocked down, not knocked out.
So all signs are that it’s very likely that Silva did at least get rocked a couple of times in this latest sparring session ahead of the Paul fight, and that’s not good news.
Silva has managed to enjoy something of a resurgence in the past couple of years after turning his focus to boxing, picking up a decision win over former champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr that earned him widespread praise for his performance, followed up by a first round KO victory over Tito Ortiz.
That has helped paper over some of the cracks, but lets not forget that Silva is now 47-years-old and in the final years of his UFC career appeared to be a shadow of his former self, including suffering back-to-back TKO losses in the final two fights of his legendary run in the UFC before being released.
Silva is undoubtedly the technically superior striker when compared to Paul, but the YouTuber turned boxer is over two decades younger than him and has proven in his previous bouts that he’s serious about his craft and has proven knockout power, so he’ll no doubt fancy his chances of catching ‘The Spider’s’ compromised chin on Saturday night, if the fight is still allowed to proceed.