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Anderson Silva takes carefree approach to Jake Paul, considers fight ‘good challenge’


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on MMAJunkie.com.

LOS ANGELES – You are Anderson Silva. You are at the end of your career, many would say beyond that. You are a former UFC Middleweight Champion and one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. There are a lot of people on your MMA Mount Rushmore.

So why, at 47, would you choose to fight a 25-year-old YouTuber and social media influencer who had barely started boxing in?

“It’s a good challenge,” Silva told MMA Junkie about his upcoming boxing match with Jake Paul.

Indeed, Silva and Paul will attend the headliners for a Showtime pay-per-view event on October 29 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. Since leaving the UFC at the end of 2020, Silva has experienced some success inside the ring, including a stunning victory over former boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., followed by a first-round knockout from fellow former UFC champion Tito Ortiz. Silva also did well in an eight-round exhibition bout against Bruno Machado last May.

Paul has made a name for himself in boxing thanks to former MMA champions Ben Askren and Tyrone Woodley, both of whom he knocked out (he also defeated Woodley by decision).

From Silva’s perspective, that’s the exciting thing. For the past two years, he has seen how Jake and his brother, Logan Paul, have made a mark in the world of war sports – mainly boxing but now also in WWE for Logan – and have been influenced by it.

“People think these two kids don’t have the respect to do something like I’m doing now,” Silva said. “But it’s so special. Why? Because these two kids are working hard, and what happened to people? When people do something hard, nothing special, try to talk, try to question, say Let’s try, ‘Oh, it’s terrible, it’s fake.’ But the kids are doing awesome. Kids working hard. I respect the kid (Jake). But the fight is the fight. Jake is fighting hard to fight with me, I’m hard to fight with Jake I’m working hard, and let’s do it.

There are those who genuinely believe that Silva will give Paul a test that Askren and Woodley could not, because Silva is actually the size of Paul, not to mention perhaps the greatest striker in MMA history. Then there are the naysayers who fear that Silva, at her age, might be brutally knocked over and come down on canvas like Askren and Woodley.

It’s not something Silva concerns herself with.

“People say that, because that’s what it is. People don’t like to work hard and take risks to do their best,” Silva said. “Lazy people do that. It’s talking a lot. But I’m not lazy.”

For some, it might be strange to think that after ending his legendary UFC career, Silva would box a YouTuber 22 years younger than him. And yet, here we are.

“I can’t imagine it, because nobody can imagine it,” Silva said. “But I have been working hard all my life to do my best, to raise my prestige within the martial arts, and to fight for the community. When you do something special, when you do something to honor and help the new generation, everything happens to you. I am lucky because I don’t see anyone my age and I fight at the same level as I fight now. Especially when you come from the world of MMA, and I am so happy. When you do something good for the rest of the world, something good comes to you. That’s what I try to do every day.”

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