Jake Paul defeated Anderson Silva by unanimous decision in their eight-round bout Saturday night at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Ariz.
Paul took the cards 77-74, 78-73, 78-73.
Paul, 25, improved to 6-0 with four KOs. He has beaten MMA fighters Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley previously but hadn’t fought since December, with his last two scheduled fights falling apart.
“It’s a surreal moment, hard work pays off,” Paul said. “First and foremost, I wanna say thank you to Anderson. He was my idol growing up, he inspired me to be great, Without him we wouldn’t have had a fight this year. He’s a tough mo-fo, like for real, legend. I have nothing but respect for him.”
Silva was the first fighter with a winning record that Paul has faced. The 47-year-old put together a 34-11 record in MMA and is 3-1 in boxing matches.
“Jake is better than me today,” Silva said. “I don’t have nothing to say bad about my opponent. I think everybody needs to respect this kid because he’s doing the best job. I trained hard, I am a warrior, and I know when a fight is hard. It’s a very hard fight for me today.”
On the undercard, former NFL running back Le’Veon Bell lost his pro boxing debut to Uriah Hall by unanimous decision. Hall took the four-round bout 40-36 across the cards.
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