UFC legend Anderson Silva has officially received a professional boxing license to fight in the state of Arizona, making his matchup with Jake Paul more realistic.
The former UFC middleweight champion Silva has long moved on from his days of fighting inside the octagon. The mixed martial arts icon chose to step away from professional competition after dropping three in a row, with his final outing coming against Uriah Hall in Oct. 2020. Silva had struggled to find his incredible form since Jul. 2013, when he lost to Chris Weidman in their first bout and managed to get a single win over Derek Brunson in his last nine fights for the promotion.
Silva did not stay away from combat sports very long as he returned for boxing matches. Rumors of a showdown between the “Spider” and internet sensation-turned-boxer Paul in October started making rounds online after Drama Alert’s Keemstar shared the developments in an Aug. 29 tweet, writing: “Anderson Silva vs Jake Paul! Who you got? I’m literally hearing that this is going to be announced! #DramaAlert.”
As per a recent report from Danny Segura of MMA Junkie, Silva was officially granted a professional boxing license to fight in Arizona. The Arizona Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Commission approved Silva’s license application on Friday afternoon with the vote being passed unanimously among commissioners.
“Congratulations, Mr. Silva,” the Arizona commissioner said upon approving Silva’s license. “We’re looking forward to what’s to come.”
The Brazilian star replied, “I’m training hard every day. I’m keeping my mind busy and healthy. I’m so excited.”
Silva Indicated a Possible Fight With Paul in May
Silva took on former boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez, son of retired boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez, in his first match after leaving the UFC. He managed to defeat Chavez Jr. by a split decision after eight rounds of action.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz stepped up to the task of facing Silva for the Brazilian’s second outing in the boxing ring. Silva displayed his striking abilities in a dominant display before knocking Ortiz out in under 90 seconds. He went on to face Bruno Machado in an exhibition bout in May and looked good as ever.
During the build-up to his fight with Machado, Silva expressed his willingness to compete against Paul.
“It’s possible,” Silva told Sports Illustrated. “People need to respect the Paul brothers. Those kids are talented, and they’ve opened people’s eyes about the good and bad in combat sports. I’m preparing my body for a challenge. We’ll see what happens.”
Dana White Believes It Will Be a Tough Fight for Paul
During a presser for “Dana White’s Contender Series,” UFC president Dana White shared his thoughts on the rumored matchup between Silva and Paul.
“I don’t give a s**t what they do, you know what I mean?” White said. “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.”
No official announcements have come yet, but Silva getting the license in Arizona could help move things along.