(CNN) — Anderson Silva was breaking records as the most dominant MMA fighter of his generation while Jake Paul was still a boy watching from his home, shocked by the Brazilian’s achievements.
Now 47, Silva will face the controversial YouTuber-turned-boxer in a boxing match this Saturday at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
However, the fight was reportedly almost stopped due to Silva’s comments in the media.
In an interview with MMA Weekly, recorded in September but published this month, the legendary MMA fighter said he was knocked out twice during training camp and the Arizona Boxing and MMA Commission required him to undergo medical tests as a result. was cleared to fight, ESPN reported.
In a statement released this week, Silva clarified his comments, saying he made a mistake in the interview and was not knocked out in training, which he said took place in early September.
Silva had an MRI with “intact” results, Commission Chairman Scott Fletcher said, according to ESPN, adding that he felt “completely comfortable” allowing Silva to fight.
Since entering the world of boxing, Paul has won all five of his fights, with four knockouts, including wins against former MMA fighters Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren.
And how much self-confidence he had before the fight with Silva was also seen at the press conference.
“Anderson Silva is the nicest guy in the world and we love him,” he said. – I will still knock him out, maybe with respect, but I will knock him out.
Silva, however, presents a different challenge for Paul, as he is the first opponent with a professional boxing record and was the reigning UFC middleweight champion for 2,457 days, from 2006 to 2013, during which time he accumulated 16 fights. to line up.
Silva has not competed in an MMA fight since 2020, when he lost to Uriah Hall, but has continued to box, going 2-0 since returning in 2021, including a split decision win over former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Before that, his last two fights in the sport were in 1998 and 2005 for a 1-1 record.
“I promise I will do my best to give everyone here a good show,” Silva said, according to ESPN.
“Now I am focused on this fight because it is very important for new generations and also for my generation. I believe in one thing: if you love something anything is possible, if you believe in yourself you can achieve anything.”
– That’s why I’m here, because I never stopped believing in myself.
Where to watch the fight:
The eight-round bout will be broadcast live on Showtime PPV in the US and kicks off at 9pm (Miami time).
In Latin America, you can see the fight on ESPN and Star +.