- Anderson Silva said people may say “Jake Paul is no good” but “every fight” is dangerous.
- The two fighters collide in an Arizona headliner Saturday, to be broadcast on Showtime PPV.
- Reports say this week the event has been jeopardized but Insider understands this is not the case.
MMA legend Anderson Silva says he’s not looking past Jake Paul despite his weekend opponent’s relative inexperience when it comes to pro fighting.
Silva is a former long-reigning UFC middleweight champion who, at 47 years old now, challenges the internet sensation Paul, 25, in a boxing rules match Saturday at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, on Showtime pay-per-view.
The Brazilian has a wealth of combat sports experience, having excelled in ultimate fighting, jiu jitsu, Muay Thai, taekwondo, and even boxing, notably beating the former world champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last year.
At a recent media workout in Arizona, as Silva winds down his preparations ahead of the big event, he said: “There’s a lot of people who are saying Jake is no good, he’s not as good a striker.
“But, to me, the fight is a fight, and I’m training hard to win this fight. I’m not looking at this as an easy fight for me. Every single fight is dangerous once you step through the ropes.”
Silva is confident he’ll defeat Paul
Paul made his name on the Disney Channel and then through content creation on YouTube. However, he parlayed his popularity online into a real-life career in combat sports, building a pro record of five wins (four knockouts) already.
Silva, despite being 22 years older than Paul, is likely his most formidable opponent to date and is confident he’ll be the first to inflict defeat onto his American adversary.
“I’m not going to lose,” he said. “Nothing will affect my legacy.”
Silva added: “The most important thing going into this fight is my experience. My experience is something that Jake doesn’t have.”
A report this week said the fight may be in jeopardy. Insider understands this is not the case.
In an interview that MMA Weekly published Tuesday on YouTube, Silva said he had been “training hard for the win” alongside “high-level” boxers.
“The last sparring, he knocked me out two times,” Silva said, adding that he asked his coach at the time why there are guys who are knocking him “out two times.” To which his coach reportedly said: “You need to prepare for war, and you prepare for war.”
Other sporting outlets carried the report, with Bleacher Report saying the event had been “jeopardized.”
According to MMA Fighting, the Arizona Department of Gaming, which is overseeing Saturday’s show, said it’s “looking into the matter.”
A source with knowledge of the situation told Insider on Wednesday, however, that Silva has passed all of the medical requirements to permit him to compete this weekend and that they’re confident the show will go ahead as planned.
The only knockout people should be worried about is the one ‘I’m about to deliver to Jake Paul,’ Silva said
“After seeing the reports and concern for me, I’d like to clarify two important things,” Silva said in a statement sent to Insider.
“One, I was never knocked out in sparring. I misspoke in that interview as I sometimes do when interviewing in English, and exaggerated the normal back-and-forth action that occurs in sparring.
“Second, this sparring session I referenced was in early September. The interview with MMA Weekly was done on September 13 and, for some reason, just released this week. So, it wasn’t recent,” he said.
Silva continued: “More importantly, my training camp has been great. I am fit and ready to fight and the only knockout people should be worried about is the one I’m about to deliver to Jake Paul on Saturday night.”