GLENDALE, Ariz. - After several cancelations, Jake Paul finally has his next opponent.
"Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva is the most versatile fighter the world has ever seen," Paul said in a statement. "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."
Paul has been hungry to get back in the ring, but he claimed that some would only come back against select opponents.
"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," he said. "It’s an honor to have the opportunity to share the ring with the greatest UFC striker of all time."
While Silva may be 47 years old and out of his prime, he still is widely regarded as one of the best MMA fighters of all time and is 3-1 as a pro boxer. While in the UFC, he defended his Middleweight Championship 10 times, and he holds the record for the longest title reign in UFC history (2,457 days). His last MMA bout was on Halloween of 2020.
(Photos by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images and Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
With each of their celebrity status, Silva thinks this fight could be remembered forever.
"I believe this will be the biggest combat event of the year and will truly make history in the sport forever," he said in a statement.
Paul has not fought since December and was set to face off against Tommy Fury at Madison Square Garden last month, but Fury said he had travel issues coming to the United States. Fury's replacement was Hasim Rahman Jr., but he had weight complications.
Silva last boxed on Sept. 11 of last year, when he knocked out Tito Ortiz just 82 seconds into the fight.
The fight will be contested at 187 pounds and will be available via Showtime pay-per-view.