Paul (5-0) will fight former longtime UFC middleweight champion Silva (2-0 boxing) in a pay-per-view main event Oct. 29 at Gila River Arena in Phoenix, Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions announced Tuesday. Event tickets go on sale Sept. 14 for the card that will air on Showtime pay-per-view.
An official news release for the fight called Paul, a YouTuber-turned-boxer, an “international superstar and serial risk taker,” and said the matchup with Silva will be “the biggest challenge of his career.”
Paul had fights with Tommy Fury and Hasim Rahman Jr. fall apart in August. This past week, MVP teased his next fight and said he “almost certainly will be the underdog.”
Paul and Silva will face off for the first time next week with back-to-back news conferences in Los Angeles on Monday and Phoenix, where the fight will take place, the next day.
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Paul, 25, has made a habit so far of fighting former MMA champions, but Silva will be the biggest name yet. He has a knockout of Ben Askren and two wins – one decision and one knockout – over Tyron Woodley on his resume. The YouTube star hasn’t fought since his sixth-round knockout of Woodley in December 2021.
“Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva is the most versatile fighter the world has ever seen,” Paul stated. “Just a year ago, he outclassed boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and showed the world why he is often referred to as the greatest fighter of all time.
“Every expert, from MMA to boxing, has said Jake Paul won’t fight Anderson Silva. They said Jake Paul is afraid of Anderson Silva, and Jake Paul would lose to Anderson Silva. Well, to all the non-believers – Jake Paul is fighting Anderson Silva. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to share the ring with the greatest UFC striker of all time. On Saturday, Oct. 29, I will walk humbly into the ring, touch gloves with a living legend and do my best to exterminate ‘The Spider.'”
Silva won two boxing matches in 2021, first taking a split decision from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. after eight rounds before knocking out fellow former UFC champion Tito Ortiz in just 1:22. Silva also looked formidable in an exhibition bout against Bruno Machado in May.
Silva’s performance against Machado even got a reaction out of Paul.
“I know that in life, everything has its purpose,” Silva stated. “Nothing comes just by chance. So I thank God for my health, my family, and my team for providing me with this opportunity to continue doing the thing that I love the most. I believe this will be the biggest combat event of the year and will truly make history in the sport forever.”
Paul’s business partner, MVP co-founder Nakisa Bidarian, said Paul continues to elevate his game – and that Silva is the type of opponent who can beat Paul.
“Jake Paul continues to take on challenges that other professional fighters at his experience level and popularity never have,” Bidarian, a former UFC employee, stated. “Jake appreciates the platform that he has and always aims to provide fans with a compelling product that drives engagement. Anderson Silva is unequivocally the most exciting striker in UFC history. Those abilities have translated into his professional boxing career, and he most certainly has the ability to end Jake’s unbeaten streak. It’s an honor for Most Valuable Promotions to have one of the GOATs of combat sports headline our event. He is already a Hall of Famer in our books.”