The Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission has cleared Anderson Silva to fight Jake Paul on Saturday night, following the decision to hold a meeting this evening after media people and fans on social media made a big deal about an interview where Silva said he’d been knocked out twice in training camp.
The outcome of that meeting is no surprise. MMA legend Silva (3-1, 2 KO in boxing) basically said he misspoke and/or was joking, and there’s not really much more than can be done from there. It would be impossible prove he didn’t simply misspeak or make a joke or whatever, and so barring a failed physical or drug test or the like, the commission has no room to do much of anything.
So the 47-year-old Silva will face Paul (5-0, 4 KO) on Saturday in a Showtime pay-per-view main event, and as usual, a fight involving Jake Paul is being hyped with a bet idea to get people talking. It’s worked before, so Paul is playing the hits.
The conditions are that if Silva beats Paul, then Jake has to face Silva in a kickboxing rematch, I guess because — actually, I’m not sure what this is. If Silva bets Paul in the sport Paul has trained in, what the hell would Silva have to prove against Paul in a style where Silva has massive, obvious advantages? Why would he, meaning Silva, even want to do that? I mean, money, I guess, but money is supposedly not a motivating factor for Silva.
If Paul wins, then Silva will join Paul’s alleged effort to create a fighters union, basically, to help UFC and MMA fighters with getting better pay and healthcare. The basic idea of this is something that, on paper, Silva should want to do anyway, but I suppose having to be beaten up in a different sport and forced into doing something good for your fellow MMA fighters is, um, another way to go about it?
You know, when you really lay this out, this is the stupidest of the Jake Paul fight bets to date, but it has buzzwords attached that seem like a big deal, so there you are.
Anyway, here’s what they said, mostly about how this impacts the MMA world, at Thursday’s press conference for their boxing fight.
“For sure I have more pressure on my shoulders. Just being the A-side, and the amount of shit I talk, I think the entire MMA community is waiting for me to lose. They want me to lose. I just have so many more big ideas and plans in this sport and I just plan on being here forever. This is the start of that, and the pressure is on.
“I’m the young guy and he’s really, really good and has more experience. He has the weight, the height, the reach so all the odds are stacked against me. He’s very fast, very technical, very rangy, good defense, good movement. I’ll have to be perfect on Saturday night. I know I’m capable of doing that but I’m ready for war. Skill aside, it might come down to who wants it more and I believe that’s me.
“When you get into the ring you have to be ruthless, savage, be willing to do whatever it takes during the darkest moments in the ring. You have to be a killer or you will be killed, so that’s where the problem child comes in. I’m a problem for anyone that’s in the ring with me. I can put you out at any time. I’m a different person. I don’t care about consequences when I’m in the alter ego and I come alive when I enter the ring. It’s not Jake. It’s someone else that I tap into.
“Logan was like, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ Now you think I’m going to win.”
“When you fight in combat sports you have to be a little crazy. I’m a little crazy, too. This is not for everyone. Everyone here are special guys and for sure everyone here is a little crazy.
“This is a competition and I’m training hard to make a great show for everyone. This fight is very special to me. I try to do my best because I love fighting and I love my job and now I’m free to do everything I like to do.
“I don’t believe this affects my legacy, in my journey in combat sports. I try to do my best to give something to the new generation. Jake and I are bringing two big generations together and people think this will affect my legacy or affect Jake’s legacy, but I don’t believe that because it’s about passion and love.
“Everyone always asks, ‘Are you sure you want to face Jake Paul? He’s beating a lot of guys [from] the UFC.’ I say, ‘Yeah, I think I’m ready for that. He’s younger than me but I’m a superhero.’”