Jake Paul faced the toughest test of his young career, delivering a stunning last-round knockdown on Anderson Silva to secure his win and remain undefeated.
While the scorecards looked like it would have been a much one-sided fight, Paul didn’t have an easy night at the office as he took some hard shots from Silva round after round while constantly trying to connect with his infamous knockout punch. Silva ate Paul’s best shots all night until he was finally caught with a counter right that sent him to the ground.
That was obviously the best shot of the night for Paul, who advanced to a career 6-0 after the judges gave him the fight 77-74, 78-73 and 78-73.
“It’s a surreal moment,” Paul said afterwards. “Hard work pays off. I want to thank Anderson. He was my idol growing up. He’s a tough mofo. A legend. I have nothing but respect for him.
“He took so many hard shots throughout the fight. He’s a real dog. He’s the toughest guy in the world. I just wanted it more. I left everything in the ring.”
Paul started the fight aggressively as he tried to go down Silva, throwing a variety of jabs to the head and body and then going back up with powerful hooks. Silva, a counter hit by trade, avoided many of Paul’s shots before hitting a well-timed straight left that caught his opponent’s attention.
As the second round began, Silva moved forward, essentially challenging Paul to engage with him while crouching and dodging most of the shots that came back at him. Silva hit with a well-timed uppercut that snapped Paul’s head back and the Brazilian’s confidence began to soar.
Paul kept loading on his right hand, which was the punch that got him multiple knockouts, but Silva did a good job dodging and shooting back with combinations of his own. As Silva started cutting the ring, Paul struggled to stay out of the corner and used the clinch to try and slow the former UFC champion.
As time ticked by in the fourth round, Paul tried to get more active and that allowed him to land a few more punches, including a slick right hook that hit Silva in the jaw. Silva came back late after pushing Paul in the corner and started a riot when the bell rang.
As Silva closed the distance, he connected with more regularity, including a right uppercut that kept catching Paul off guard. When fighting in a phone booth, Paul had trouble dodging Silva’s short punches from the inside.
During the exchange, which allowed Paul to operate from the outside, he was able to cut Silva with better accuracy, although he was still wary of the counters coming back at him.
With just three minutes left, Silva came out and fired immediately, but it was Paul who responded with a huge right counterhook that dropped the mixed martial arts legend. It was a perfectly placed punch that gave Paul the knockdown as he silenced many doubters as he secured his victory in the eight round bout.
For his part, Silva gave Paul all the credit for defeating him in the fight without complaining about the scores given by the judges.
“This is the game. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose,” said Silva. “I was born for it. The judges got it right. Listen, it’s tough coming in and arguing with a little kid. I tried to do my best.
“Jake is better than me today. I can’t say anything bad about my opponent. I think everyone has to respect this kid. It was a very tough fight for me today.”
Paul, who started out as an underdog before eventually becoming a 2-1 favorite in sports betting, came away with the biggest win of his career and now he’s turning his attention to a personal grudge with another ex-UFC fighter who coincidentally there was attendance on Saturday.
“I want Nate Diaz,” Paul exclaimed. “He’s f****. He tried to get into my dressing room. He tried to cause some s***. Then he always leaves the f***** arena. Nate Diaz, stop being shitty and fight me and you too, ‘Canelo’ [Alvarez].
“You said, ‘You can’t beat a forward, you can’t be a legend like Anderson Silva.’ i just did it Why can’t I beat Canelo? Bloody hell. Anyone, anytime, anywhere.”
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