Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva timeline: From old photo together to 2022 boxing fight between YouTube star and former MMA champion

By | October 27, 2022

Ever since YouTubers dipped their toes in boxing, the sport has seen some strange matchups. NBA and NFL stars have joined these influencers on cards, much to the chagrin of the passionate boxing fan. MMA fighters have also attempted to make the transition, but not all have succeeded. 

Anderson Silva, one of the most legendary MMA fighters of all time, has adapted well since leaving the UFC in 2020. Having experience in boxing, first competing in the sport in 1998, a year after his MMA debut, Silva is not a novice to the sport. 

After last competing in a boxing ring in 2005, Silva made his return to the sport in 2021. He beat Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Tito Ortiz that year. In May, Silva faced Bruno Machado in a non-scored bout. Now, he will fight Jake Paul on October 29. The fight takes place inside Arizona’s Gila River Arena.

This fight is the ultimate test for both men, who are familiar with one another. What started as a fan photo has turned into a dream matchup years later.

MORE: All you need to know about Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva

Jake Paul vs. Anderson Silva timeline

Before Jake Paul became an opponent of Silva’s, he was a fan of his.

Not long ago, Paul posted on social media a picture of himself, his brother Logan, and Silva from a few years ago. His message from the photo was simple: dreams do come true. 

“How it started vs. How it’s going… fun fact Anderson was the only celebrity I ever met before moving to La. He was randomly in Ohio at a local MMA fight and I flirted with the ring card girl who brought us on stage to meet him… life is trippy.”

Paul has not been afraid to discuss his interest in mixed martial arts. He even offered to compete in the UFC to support better pay for fighters.

The bout will be Paul’s third boxing fight against an MMA fighter. He fought Ben Askren once and Tyron Woodley twice. After Paul beat Tyron Woodley for a second time, rumors of a Silva fight grew. That came after Silva left the UFC and started his journey back into boxing. Silva did initially tell MMA Junkie he had an interest in fighting Logan after his fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. However, as Jake continued to gain attention in the sport, eyes shifted from Silva vs. Logan to Silva vs. Jake. 

MORE: YouTube pound-for-pound boxing rankings

Paul was supposed to fight Tommy Fury and Hasim Rahman Jr. at one point, but those bouts got canceled at the last minute. Fury couldn’t enter the United States, and there was a contractual issue with Rahman’s weight that forced both fights to get nixed. Paul needed to fight someone. In a “perfect timing” situation, so did Silva. Following multiple rumors, talks progressed between the two, and the fight became official soon after. 

During the first press conference between the two, Logan asked Silva if he and Jake could recreate the photo between the two from all those years ago. Silva happily obliged. 

“First of all, guys, everyone needs to respect this guy. Why? Because it opens the door for everyone to think about something new, and I’m so excited and so happy to be here,” Silva stated at the pre-fight press conference. “How many years ago did you come to take a picture with your brother? I fought a lot in my entire life, and I’m here again with the new generation. That’s the proof that everyone can do anything in their life if you believe in yourself and you have the passion and love.”

MORE: Ranking Jake Paul’s best fights

The fight against Silva means a lot to Paul, who is ready to prove his doubters wrong. He believes he can handle an all-time great in front of thousands of passionate fans in Arizona. 

“When I was standing on stage with them recreating the picture with my brother yesterday, I almost flashed back to the moment when I was a kid and I said that you couldn’t really write this in a movie. Like, I don’t think a writer could have come up with this storyline the way everything’s unfolded,” said Paul. “So, I’ve just had to sort of pinch myself, and it still really hasn’t sunk in, to be quite honest. But I’m sure it will. At the end of the day, you know that this is what I’m good at. And come fight week, I’ll be ready to do what I do best: Fight.”