But now, the two are teaming up to potentially shape the future of mixed martial arts.
Paul walked away from his October 2022 fight against Silva with a unanimous decision victory. But the influencer turned boxer was extremely respectful toward the UFC legend both before and after the fight.
Oh yeah Anderson Silva is about to let himself get knocked out by Jake Paul for a bag pic.twitter.com/lG0DgTst2h
— Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) October 24, 2022
“Anderson’s 46 years old, and I thought he did an incredible job. He was sticking and moving, bouncing around the ring, having fun, was throwing combos,” Paul told TMZ Sports after the fight. “He’s long and lanky and to come in there and beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who’s what, like over 50 wins in the ring? Is a world champion. This just goes to show that MMA strikers are also great boxers, and I think a lot of people forget that. That is the first skill that MMA fighters learn if they’re going to learn how to fight, is boxing. So I thought he looked amazing.”
Now appears that respect has led the two working with one another.
“It’s moving, it’s all in motion,” Silva said. “Jake is a very correct person, so it’s happening. To make sure it’s done the correct way and it’s enduring, it stays for future generations, it has to be well-planned and structured, and we’re working on it.”
Paul has been an advocate for better fighter pay and working conditions for a long time. He recently criticized UFC president Dana White over his dispute with former champion Francis Ngannou.
“Funny how promoters always try to devalue fighters for their own benefit/narrative,” Paul said. Francis is the best heavyweight MMA fighter in the world and he deserves to be treated as such.”
MMA fighters have tried to form a union in the past. But each time it’s come to nothing. Now, however, it appears that Paul and Silva just may be able to make it happen.