GLENDALE, Ariz. – If the MMA community didn’t respect him before, Jake Paul hopes his performance against a true legend will sway their opinion.
Paul went the distance with former UFC champion Anderson Silva in a highly competitive eight-round boxing match at Desert Diamond Arena. Not only did Paul hang with the best striker he’s faced yet in his young pro boxing career, but he also sent the MMA legend to the canvas in the final round.
Throughout all of the criticism Paul has received from the MMA community, he believes this is the type of performance that should gain him some respect.
“I think it has to,” Paul told reporters at the post-fight news conference. “I think it has to. I want to watch the fight back, but you know, people were just saying it was a really good fight. A brawl, a war, awesome back and forth. So, I think people will respect my game.
“I showed different parts of my arsenal, defense, all that. Fighting on the inside with a legend, who’s really good at fighting on the inside. I think this fight definitely has to gain me some respect, you know? And I’m only two and a half years in. So, this is just the start. I’m just getting warmed up with what I can accomplish. This is the first fight in my career where like, I felt comfortable in the ring.”
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Paul’s win over Silva was his fourth victory over a former MMA champion. He previously defeated former ONE Championship title holder Ben Askren, former UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley twice, and now former UFC middleweight champ Silva.
While some in the MMA community have hoped that the aforementioned challengers of Paul would “represent” for the sport and put an end to the YouTuber’s boxing experiment, so far, they have only added to his undefeated record.
“Just think about it, no one five fights in is fighting eight-round fights, no one,” Paul said. “They build ’em up, four rounds, six rounds – I mean Tommy Fury is still fighting six-round fights. He grew up his entire life doing this sport and his brother is the heavyweight champion of the world. My brother and I are f*cking from YouTube.
“So, I’m just doing something that no one’s ever done before, and I’m just learning my bearings in the ring, but we’ll see what happens after this.