25-year-old Jake Paul may still be reluctant to fight someone his own age, but he will finally go up against someone his own size in his next boxing match as it’s being reported that he will fight legendary MMA fighter Anderson Silva on October 29th.
Paul’s management ‘Most valuable Promotions’ had teased the fight a few days ago, stating that, “Next week we will announce JAKE PAUL’s next opponent. @jakepaul will almost certainly be the underdog. He knows that and he wants that.”
At that stage it was rumored that he’d be going up against a professional boxer for the first time, but instead Paul will be sticking to a familiar theme of fighting aging former UFC veterans, having previously beaten Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.
The key difference this time around is that while those two other stars were natural welterweights who had a size disadvantage against Paul, this time Silva is a former middleweight champion who has also comfortably competed at light-heavyweight.
Silva will also be Paul’s first opponent from the MMA world who is actually primarily a striker, and widely considered to be one of the all-time greats in that regard, having ruled the UFC’s 185lb division between 2006-2012, during which he racked up 10 successful title defenses and won 16 fights in a row – a record that remains unbroken even to this day.
With all that being said though, it’s worth pointing out that the 47-year-old Silva actually only won once in his final nine fights in the UFC, with his iron grip on the title finally ending with a KO loss to Chris Weidman in 2013, followed by suffering a broken leg in their rematch later that year.
His MMA career never fully recovered after that and his last fight in the UFC ended with a TKO loss against Uriah Hall in 2020.
However, while some assumed that was the end of Silva’s career, ‘The Spider’ had other plans and has since gone on to pursue a late-career run in the boxing ring, having previously gone 1-1 in the sport in his earlier years before joining the UFC.
Despite his age, Silva has managed to turn back to the clock to some extent in the boxing ring over the past couple of years, impressing many with a dominant win over former WBC middleweight champion Julio Chavez Jr in the summer of last year, before going on to KO Tito Ortiz in the first round a few months later.
So, it all has the makings of a much better fight than Paul’s previous encounters with MMA fighters, as Ben Askren was almost exclusively a wrestler who had next to no striking ability, while Tyron Woodley was notoriously gun-shy in the later stages of his UFC run.
Silva is a far bigger threat, but at this late age and stage in his career he’s the same fighter he was in his prime over a decade ago and so Paul clearly sees a window of opportunity to earn his biggest and most meaningful win to date.