UFC head Dana White has given Jake Paul rare praise in the wake of the news that he will face Anderson Silva. Paul will fight UFC icon Silva for the first time in his brief boxing career against a foe who has a professional boxing record.
Since turning professional in 2020, Paul has been under fire for not taking on a “real boxer,” despite having previously battled YouTuber AnEsonGib, former NBA player Nate Robinson, and now-retired MMA champions Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.
Although White has in the past made fun of Paul for hand-picking his opponents, he acknowledges that by taking on Silva, he is pushing himself. “If he’s really fighting Anderson Silva, and that’s true, it’s about time he’s got a real fight on his hands there. Regardless of how old Anderson is, yeah, that’s a real fight,” he told reporters.
Silva has a 3-1 professional record, with his lone defeat coming in his ring debut in 1998. The Brazilian stunned many when he defeated former middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June of last year. A few months later, he once again dazzled the crowd by knocking out fellow UFC icon Tito Ortiz. Silva last competed in May, fighting eight rounds with Bruno Machado in an exhibition fight that was not scored.