Before their bout, Jake Paul and Anderson Silva spoke face to face for the final time.
The 25-year-old YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul will face 47-year-old Silva in an eight-round. This will be his hardest test yet in his fledgling boxing career. Since turning professional, Paul has fought five times without losing, while Silva has won fans over by transitioning to the ring since retiring from the UFC two years ago.
Just a few days prior to the battle, Silva claimed he had been knocked out twice while training. The former UFC champion later recanted his comments, stating he actually meant to say knocked down.
After hearing Silva’s words, the Arizona commission expressed concern about his health. However, after receiving his medical records and a trainer’s statement, they were confident that the match could go.
After being friendly during fight week, Paul and Silva intensified their staredown when they made an appearance in front of the crowd at the Desert Diamond Arena. The two exchanged glances and even struck the famous posture that Silva adopted prior to each UFC contest.
Following the confrontation, Silva said: “First of all thank you everybody for coming, I’m so happy to be here and tomorrow I’m going to do my best to make a good show for everyone. Of course I’m going to win, I’m training for that.”
Paul reaffirmed the vow he made when submitting former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in December, saying: “I said to [Silva] ‘it’s my generation, it’s my time’. To be a legend you’ve got to beat a legend.”
“It’s time for war, I asked him if he’s ready. It’s been nice nice nice, it’s been sweet sweet sweet. I respect that man but he’s trying to take the food off of my plate, he’s trying to stop my run. Tomorrow night, guess what? I’m f****ng him up, I’m f****ng him up!”
When the bout was first announced, Silva was the betting favorite. However, the line has since altered as bookmakers now favor Paul to defeat the UFC icon.
Paul acknowledged that Silva is the most challenging foe he has yet to face. He said: “I feel confident in my ability but this is my biggest test, first time fighting and a southpaw. He has the height, reach and is naturally a bit heavier so he has all of the advantages there.”