Jake Paul sounds confident he will defeat former UFC champion Anderson Silva in a boxing match on October 29. Once that business is settled, the ‘Problem Child’ has his eyes on Nate Diaz—a man who he says he still has issues with.
Paul is 5-0 as a boxer. All three of his most recent victories have come against former MMA champions. In April 2021, Paul knocked out former Bellator and ONE welterweight champion Ben Askren. He followed that with back-to-back wins over ex-UFC welterweight kingpin Tyron Woodley, including a viral KO victory this last December.
Silva has a 3-1 pro boxing record. He is coming off 2021 wins over Julio César Chávez Jr. and Tito Ortiz.
The odds for the matchup opened in favor of Silva, but those numbers have evened out over time and the fight is currently a pick ‘em.
Paul claims he’s not overlooking Silva, but it sounds like he’s got his sights focused further down the line as well.
“I would be surprised if [Nate Diaz] actually was a free agent,” Paul told MMA Junkie. “I feel like Dana (White) has a way of tying these guys in, like hidden into the contract. That’s just how I feel about it, I don’t know if it’s true or not. But yeah, if he can actually become a free agent then I think that’s a cool fight. I would love to do that. I’m not overlooking Anderson Silva, but there’s beef between Nate Diaz and I.
“He’s a big name. He went out with a bang, had an electric performance, and people are saying, ‘Oh, you’re fighting these retired MMA fighters.’ No I’m not. Anderson never retired and Nate Diaz left winning and he’s one of the baddest men on the planet. So what about fighting an active UFC fighter? What now? So that’s why I think that fight is interesting. Hopefully I get through Anderson, and hopefully Nate Diaz can get out of his contract and we’ll see if that makes sense.”
While Diaz has completed all the bouts under his most recent UFC deal, contracts with the promotion almost always carry a 90-day exclusive negotiation period—which would expire on December 10th. After that, the Endeavor-owned organization still retains a 1-year matching period. If the UFC really wants to play hardball with Diaz, they could possibly keep him out of action until next September.
Silva and Paul face off on October 29 at Gila River Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. Alongside the 187 lb catchweight main event, the card is also expected to host the boxing debut of former Ultimate Fighter winner Uriah Hall against ex-Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell.
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