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On Saturday, Paul fights Anderson Silva, a beloved combat sports legend who reigned over the UFC middleweight division for six and a half years, logged 10 consecutive title defenses (the most ever at 185 pounds in the UFC), and won 16 straight fights inside the octagon (also a UFC record).
“The Spider” turned 47 this year, but he’s looked rejuvenated by his move to boxing, which includes wins over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Tito Ortiz.
For Silva, I’m just happy to see him happy, aren’t you? His smile and his positive presence are just plain infectious, which I’m here for; not to mention, he’s probably getting a big fat bag of money to do what is making him grin from ear to ear.
From a stylistic perspective, it’s just so tough to call. Silva has tremendous movement, and when he’s in the zone and is feeling himself, he finds success. “The Spider” will certainly bring size, technique, and power that Paul has yet to see inside the squared circle.
Paul, no matter how you feel about him, is going to be the better boxer here. As Tyron Woodley told us, his resources and pockets are deep, so the type of training many fighters dream of, Paul can get at his beck and call. The biggest factor for Paul will be his youth, as he’s more than two decades younger than Silva. That will play a role, for sure.
Many pundits have called Paul’s level of competition into question, as he has yet to face a legitimate professional boxer during his five-fight career.
While the YouTube star is 5-0 with four knockouts, his wins have come over fellow YouTuber AnEsonGib, former NBA guard Nate Robinson and a pair of former UFC fighters in Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.
Like Askren and Woodley, Silva is a former UFC fighter, although he is considered one of the all-time greats.
During an MMA career that spanned 23 years, Silva went 34-11 with 23 wins by way of knockout. He also held the UFC middleweight title and owns the all-time record with a title reign of 2,457 days.
Silva was middleweight champ from 2006 through 2013, winning 15 consecutive fights during his reign. That included victories over Forrest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and several other notable names.
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The Spider clearly wasn’t the same after dropping the title to Chris Weidman at UFC 162, as he went just 1-7 with one no-contest in his final nine fights.
Silva, 47, has found success in the world of boxing since retiring from MMA, however, going 2-0 in two bouts last year.
He most recently defeated fellow former UFC star Tito Ortiz, but his most impressive win came over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. by split decision.