Showtime have announced two fights for their Oct. 29 Jake Paul vs Anderson Silva pay-per-view undercard, with Most Valuable Promotions prospect Ashton Sylve in action as previously announced by Paul, and also MMA veteran Chris Avila taking on Dr. Mike Varshavski.
The 18-year-old Sylve (7-0, 7 KO) is the first real prospect signed to Paul’s promotional outfit, and someone he’s putting a little of his legitimately valuable promotional muscle behind.
He’s also taking a decent next step for his career here, as he’ll face Braulio Rodriguez (20-4, 17 KO), a Dominican veteran whose losses have all been to pretty decent fighters at worst, including a three-fight stretch in 2016-18 where he lost to Alberto Mercado, Christopher Diaz, and Ryan Garcia. (Amazingly, Garcia’s the only one of that trio who still hasn’t at least taken a world title fight, despite being by far the biggest star of the three.)
It has to be said that Rodriguez hasn’t fought since 2019, and that was a 97-second DQ win in his home country, so chances are this has been carefully chosen, but on paper it’s still probably the toughest fight Sylve has had, and Rodriguez has sort of an annoying style and is willing to rough it up in there.
Avila (1-1 in boxing, 8-9 in MMA) has had fights in UFC and Bellator, and in fact is scheduled to fight at Bellator 286 on Oct. 1 against Lance Gibson Jr, or at least that’s still on his Sherdog page.
The 29-year-old is sort of a knockaround guy in the combat world, close with the Diaz brothers, Nate and Nick, and he’ll be facing Mikhail “Dr. Mike” Varshavski, who was voted the “Sexiest Doctor Alive” by People Magazine. He had some “influencer” exhibition earlier this year, and this will be his pro debut.
Varshavski donated his entire fighter pay in May to help relief efforts in Ukraine, and is going to donate his purse from this fight to the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. So that’s a nice thing.
In short, listen, this is not an undercard that is going to have anyone changing their mind and buying this show. Basically, it is filler, but Sylve may be an interesting prospect for real, and this entire show is all about the main event, Showtime or MVP spending money on the undercard wouldn’t make that much sense, and it is what it is.