Who would have thought that back when Jake Paul knocked out Nate Robinson on an undercard for Triller we would end up here? After begrudgingly impressive performances against MMA champions Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, the influencer has landed a fight with a combat sports legend.
On Saturday night, live on Showtime PPV/Fite.tv, Paul will fight former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (in a professionally sanctioned bout).
The 47-year-old comes into this one off the back of boxing wins over Tito Ortiz and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. It should also be mentioned that prior to being locked into his UFC contract, Silva dabbled in boxing. He had a 1-1 record for fights in 1998 (the year after Paul was born) and 2005.
This weird match-up is trending to be the biggest event of a combat sports heavy weekend. So it makes sense to ask the BE staff who they think will win? The aging ‘Spider’ or the inexperienced ‘Problem Child’.
Check out our picks below (and add your own in the comments).
Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva
Anton Tabuena: Silva is 47, and it’s fair to question if he’s still the same guy on each fight, but if he comes in anywhere close to how he’s performed recently, Paul is in deep trouble. There shouldn’t even be any debate here. Just rewatch Silva’s boxing match against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, and it’ll be abundantly clear just how enormous the skill gap is both inside and from distance. Paul can punch and is very good for a beginner, but he is still just that, and he doesn’t have all the basics down yet. Paul not only got a gigantic step up in competition skillwise, but also in size. Paul has power, but there are weight classes for a reason, and his punches won’t have the same effect as when he was fighting those 170 pounders. If he doesn’t stop Silva very early — can he even land and hurt him? — he will just get styled on and embarrassed for however long this lasts. Anderson Silva by anything he wants.
Tim Bissell: Call it wishful thinking, but I just believe the technique advantage Anderson Silva has here trumps the youth, athleticism or blind belief Paul might be bringing to the fight. Yeah, he’s almost 50, but he’s also doesn’t need to run circles around Paul to win. He just needs to be patient, smart and deadly with a counter when the opportunity presents itself. If/when he’s presented with an opening, I doubt he’ll miss. And I doubt Paul will be able to shrug it off. If I’m correct, and Silva sleeps Paul at some point, then it’s honestly terrible news for us. Paul has been shockingly popular for all us combat sports site so, while it may be satisfying to see him lose here, it will certainly hurt his selling (and traffic-drawing) power going forwards. But that’s no reason for me to begrudge ‘The Spider’ here. I still vividly remember the glee I felt when he caught James Irvin’s kick and then crumbled him with a precision missile of a punch. To see him wipe out another opponent in that fashion would be pretty awesome. Anderson Silva by KO.
Stephie Haynes: Silva is the only acceptable answer. Also, I’m watching Zane make his prediction and I’m really tempted to steal it and post that he stole it from me. Hi Zane! LOL. <—(The LOL was from Zane) Anderson Silva by decision.
Zane Simon: There’s certainly a time when I would have been immensely confident in Silva really and truly styling on Jake Paul, but for a number of factors, that time is not now. Beyond simple age, there’s the fact that Silva has a great sense of showmanship. And as he’s gotten older, that’s had a real impact on the way he fights. Silva loves to clown, loves to put himself in awkward positions, loves to frustrate his opponents. And it feels like that has somewhat superseded his competitive edge later in his career. Bouts against Diaz, Brunson and Adesanya were all marked by a playful version of the ‘Spider’ that seemed to be out to have fun win or lose. With this having a noted carnival aspect to it and a high profile, my guess is that we’ll see a similar performance here. I wouldn’t dare pick Paul, but I won’t be shocked if he looks kinda weirdly competitive in a decision loss. Anderson Silva by decision.
Staff picking Paul:
Staff picking Silva: Anton, Bissell, Lewis, Stephie, Zane, Dayne
How does this fight end?
This poll is closed
Jake Paul by KO
Jake Paul by decision
Anderson Silva by KO
Anderson Silva by decision