Now 47 years old, Silva will face the controversial YouTuber-turned-boxer in a boxing match on Saturday at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
But the fight was reportedly almost canceled following comments Silva made in an interview.
In an interview with MMA Weekly, recorded in September but published this month, the legendary MMA fighter said that he was knocked out twice during his training camp and, as a result, he was required to take extra medical exams by The Arizona Boxing & MMA Commission before he could be cleared to compete in the bout, according to ESPN.
In a statement released this week, Silva clarified his comments and said he misspoke in the interview and wasn’t knocked out in the sparring session which he said took place in early September.
Silva completed a “pristine” MRI scan, the Commission chairman Scott Fletcher said, according to ESPN, adding that he was “completely comfortable” allowing Silva to fight.
Since entering the boxing world, Paul has won all five of his fights, with four knockouts, including victories against former MMA fighters Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren.
And his confidence ahead of his bout with Silva was evident during his press conference.
“Anderson Silva is the nicest guy in the world and we love him,” he said. “I’m still going to knock him out, maybe respectfully, but I’m going to knock him out.”
Silva, however, poses a different challenge for Paul since he is the first opponent with a professional boxing record and was the reigning UFC middleweight champion for 2,457 days, from 2006 until 2013 – a UFC record – during which time he amassed a 16-fight winning streak.
Silva has not competed in an MMA fight since 2020, when he lost to Uriah Hall, but he has continued to box, going 2-0 since returning in 2021 – including a split-decision victory against former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Before this, his last two fights were in 1998 and 2005 for a 1-1 record.
“I promise I will go do my best to make a good show for everyone here,” Silva said, according to ESPN.
“My focus now is on this fight because this fight is very important for every single new generation, and my generation too. I believe in one thing: if you love something you can do anything, if you believe in yourself you can do anything.
“That’s why I’m here because I never stopped believing in myself.”
How to Watch
The eight-round fight will be broadcast live on Showtime PPV in the US, and begins at 9pm ET.